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AFCU & You Blog

Closed for Thanksgiving

Jeri Smith on November 20, 2017  |  0 comments

The credit union will be closed on Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24, 2017, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

As a reminder, you still have many ways to access your AFCU accounts during this time:

  • Online - Log in to AeroAccess to transfer funds, pay bills, check your balance, make a loan payment or deposit checks using our scan deposit service.
  • Mobile - Use our free App on your smart phone to deposit checks, view transaction history, make transfers and pay bills.
  • Phone - Use our 24-hour automated phone service to check your balance or transfer funds.
  • ATMs - Use our Locator to find a surcharge-free ATM or Shared Branch near you to make deposits or withdrawals.

A Limited Time Offer

Marvin Thomas on November 7, 2017  |  0 comments

The AFCU Board of Directors has approved a promotional rate for a 6-month Share Certificate account at 1.37% APY*.  This is a “new money only” limited time offer and will not last long.  If you have “extra” cash sitting at another financial institution and looking for a great place to park it, AFCU’s 6-month promotional rate Share Certificate is the place for you!

You can establish your "new money only" 6-month Share Certificate in person at our branch or online with a minimum deposit of $10,000. Dividends will post monthly on the last day of each calendar month and at maturity* and earn the same great rate throughout the 6-month term.

Click here to get started earning more with AFCU!

Existing AFCU members, click on the "Open Secondary Account" button in the "Open An Account" section and follow the instructions.

Not an AFCU member and want to take advantage of this great offer? Click on the "Open Membership" button in the "Open An Account" section and follow the instructions - once your membership has been approved you can open and fund a Share Certificate by clicking on the "Open Secondary Account" button and following the instructions.

*APY = Annual Percentage Yield. New money only — funds from an existing AFCU account (share or loan) cannot be used to fund this Share Certificate account. Funds withdrawn from an AFCU account and redeposited within a 30-day period cannot be used to fund this Share Certificate account. Offer for a limited time only.

Are You a Credit Ghost? Here’s How to Come Back to Life
Credit holds the key to much of modern life. Even if you prefer using cash, having good credit can save you money on insurance or loans and give you more choices when shopping for apartments or cell phone plans. Credit cards can help you cover emergencies and are all but essential for making travel reservations.

And when your name is on a credit account, credit bureaus receive reports about your account activity. The bureaus build your credit reports, and when enough data accumulates, you’ll have a credit score. But millions of U.S. adults don’t have enough activity to produce credit reports or scores. When it comes to the credit industry, they might as well be ghosts.

Who is ‘Credit Invisible’ and Who is ‘Unscored’?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examined 2010 data and found about 11% of the U.S. adult population, or 26 million people, had no credit report at all — they were “credit invisible.”

An additional 19 million people, or 8%, were termed “unscored.” They had credit files, but the data was too sparse or too old produce a credit score. Between the two, that’s almost 1 in 5 U.S. adults, including:

  • Young people who are just starting out and haven’t been able to qualify for credit
  • Those who stopped using credit — for instance, older people who’ve paid off their home and car or people who prefer using cash
  • Americans living abroad who did not keep their U.S.-based credit accounts active

Just Starting Out? Get on the Credit Radar
Credit newbies will find it’s hard to qualify for credit without a history of using it. There are ways to start building credit, though:

Authorized user status: Ask a family member or friend who has a good payment history to add you to his or her credit card account. Make sure the issuer reports authorized users’ activity to at least one credit bureau. That might be enough to get your credit file started.
Secured credit card: You must pay a deposit, and often an annual fee, but these cards are easier to get because your deposit reduces the lender’s risk. Use one as a steppingstone to a standard card.

Credit-builder loan: You take out a loan, but you don’t receive the money until you’ve completed the payments. If you pay on time and in full, you build a positive credit history.
Combine methods for best results; using a secured card and a credit-builder loan together is particularly effective.

Tip: Be sure to pay credit accounts on time. That’s the top factor in your credit scores.

Have a Thin Credit file? Become Scorable
To have a FICO score, you must have a credit account that was active within the past 6 months. Its competitor, VantageScore, looks back 24 months for activity. If you have a credit card but not much payment history, build your file by using the card lightly and paying on time. You don’t have to carry a balance to generate a credit score. Pay in full each month to avoid interest. If you don’t have a card, try the credit-building methods outlined above: authorized user status, secured card or a credit-builder loan.

Tip: Use just a small portion of your credit limit — no more than 30% and preferably less. Credit utilization is the second biggest influence on scores.

Have a Stale file? Freshen It Up
To ensure you have continued access to credit, keep using your credit cards lightly. Consider sending a small, recurring charge to each card, such as your cell phone bill or Netflix subscription, and set up autopay so you never pay late.

Tip: Keep your oldest cards open unless there’s a compelling reason to close them, such as high fees. The length of your credit history also influences your scores.

Once You’re on the Radar, Protect Your Credit
Review your statements carefully for suspicious activity. Even better, set up alerts or regularly check accounts online to catch problems early. You’re entitled to a free report every 12 months from all three major credit reporting bureaus by using AnnualCreditReport.com. Check all three and dispute any errors you find.
Then sign up for a free credit score and report source; many personal finance websites, such as NerdWallet, offer them. Any unexplained change could signal an error or identity theft. And the sooner you address those, the better.

© Copyright 2017 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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The information provided by Aerospace Federal Credit Union is for informational purposes only and does not constitute personal financial, investment, or tax advice. For advice on your particular financial situation, you should consult with your personal financial, investment, and/or tax advisors. The opinions and statements of authors and commenters on this Blog are not the opinions or statements of the Credit Union or the Board of Directors, and the Credit Union takes no responsibility for their content.