VBSFCU wants to not only meet your expectations we want to exceed them. As part of our continuous effort to educate our members we would like a chance to discuss what a credit score is and how it affects you. Your credit score appears on your credit report and this relates to the rate you qualify for at the credit union. This score can approximately range from 380 – 830 (the higher the better). Your credit score is derived of five basic items:
35% – payment history
30% – capacity (capacity is revolving balances versus limits)
15% – length of credit
10% – accumulation of debt in the last 12-18 months (how fast are you adding new debt)
10% – mix of credit (installment debt versus revolving)

We would appreciate an opportunity to review your credit report, which may result in saving you money by lowering your payments and rates.

We will provide you with the tools to increase your credit score and a free copy of your credit report.

Important Tips on Rebuilding Your Credit

Bills are on everybody’s mind. Paying bills is an inevitable and sometimes unpleasant fact of life; however, not paying bills can create an even bigger problem.

If you are experiencing or have experienced significant difficulties paying your debts, you know that the situation is a personal catastrophe. Recovery in such circumstances may take years, but there are some steps you can take to ease the restoration of an acceptable credit rating.

1. Contact your creditors and your credit union. Be up-front about your problem and try to negotiate a payment schedule that is acceptable to you and your creditors. If you show a good-faith willingness to repay your debts, most of the time you will find companies willing to assist you.

2. Bankruptcy. Although declaring bankruptcy may be unavoidable under certain circumstances – catastrophic illness or medical expenses, for example – it should be your last resort. Ultimately, declaring bankruptcy can slow credit rebuilding much more than slowly paying off bills. And, bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 10 years and is a court action that remains on public records forever.

3. Secured loans and credit cards. One way to rebuild credit following a period of bill-paying problems is a secured loan or a credit card. “Secured” simply means that your savings are being held in a special account as collateral for the line of credit. This money will be returned to you once the debt is paid or the credit card account is closed. This process allows you to demonstrate that you have recovered from your credit problems and can be trusted to pay your bills. Also, good repayment performance may mean increases in the future.

4. Your credit report. Credit bureaus must provide you a copy of your credit report at any time for a nominal fee. You have the right to challenge any and all data in the report you feel may be in error. Ask your credit union about the steps you can take to correct the information and for the contact information for the credit bureau’s) they use.
The Three Credit Bureau’s are:
Equifax – www.equifax.com
TransUnion – www.tuc.com
Experian – www.experian.com

Protect yourself by reviewing your credit report at least once a year. Please read “Take Control and Protect Yourself from identity Theft” (this is a PDF) for more information.