Ways To Boost Your Credit Score

October 31, 2007

Every time you apply for a credit card, mortgage, car loan, or insurance policy, your application is judged in part by your credit score.  Lenders use your credit score to determine whether to grant credit, and at what cost.  The higher the score, the more likely you are perceived to repay the credit, and at a lower rate.

Fortunately, you can take steps to boost your credit score. These tips can maximize your score and influence your credit-worthiness AND reduce the rate that you will pay!

1. Be punctual. Late or missed payments, foreclosures, and bankruptcies have the greatest negative effect on your credit score. This accounts for 35% of your credit score, so make sure to pay your bills on time.

2. Check your credit report regularly. Don’t let inaccurate information ruin your credit score. Consumers are entitled to one free credit report per year, which you can get online at annualcreditreport.com. Or visit any branch of First New York FCU and we’ll review your credit report with you.

3. Keep debt in check. Try to keep your account balances below 50% of your credit limit. About 30% of your credit score is based on the amount you owe in relation to your credit limit. For instance, if your credit card has a limit of $2,000, keep the balance less than $1,000.

4. Avoid excessive inquiries. New inquiries for credit account for 10% of your score, and a bunch of new credit requests—in a short period of time—can reduce your score.

5. Keep accounts open. Time is one of the most significant factors that can improve your credit score. Fifteen percent of your credit score comes from how long you’ve been managing credit. Closing old accounts—especially ones with a good payment history—shortens your credit history and lowers your score. Lenders take into account the average age of your accounts, so an older account can help balance newer credit.

6. Keep a healthy mix. The remaining 10% of your credit score depends on the types of credit you’re using. Make sure to have a healthy mix of credit. This includes things like a mortgage, a credit card or two, a car loan, and perhaps a retail card. First New York FCU can help you acquire the mix you need and give you tips on how you can improve your credit score.  Visit us or call us today!

Protect Your Wallet

October 19, 2007

Thieves can steal your identity in many ways. Below is a chart that shows how it is stolen:

Warrior Branch at Mohonasen High School

October 12, 2007

Warrior Branch Ribbon Cutting

Today, First New York FCU and Mohonasen High School held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Warrior Branch inside the Mohonasen High School.  The branch is open on Fridays from 11AM to 12:30PM, inside the Trading Post school store, and is run by Mohonasen High School students.

The branch is open to students and staff members, and is a tool to help educate students about finances, promote savings and offers a look at careers in business.  Throughout the year, students will run, promote and develop with ideas on how to promote the branch.

Good luck, Warrior Branch!

Auto Buying Tips Podcast

October 11, 2007

The Newest First New York FCU podcast is now available to download.  This month the topic is Shopping for an Auto.  In this podcast we talk about the steps to take to make buying a car as painless as possible. 

Here is the MP3 version.  You can click to open and listen to the podcast using your computers audio software, or you can right click the link and save it to your hard drive to listen at a later date on your MP3 player.

Auto Buying Podcast

Columbus Day Trivia

October 9, 2007


I love trivia!  To me it’s always interesting when you find out something that you might have known – but forgot (and at my age, it’s happening more frequently!).  So, for those of you who like trivia, here is some facts about Christopher Columbus, that you might have known – but forgot, too:

  • In the US Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October.
  • Many people gave credit to Columbus for discovering the Americas, however these lands were already inhabited!
  • Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy. His father was a wool merchant. He was the oldest of five children. He first went to sea when he was 14 years old.
  • On August 3rd, 1492, with a crew of about 90, and a year’s supply of food, Columbus set sail on three ships. They stopped over in the Canary Islands for a month leaving there on  September 6th, 1492.  The flagship was the Santa Maria; the other two were the Pinta, and Nina.
  • On October 12, 1492 they spotted the Islands of the New World. They landed in the Bahamas on an Island Columbus called San Salvador.  The world was larger than he estimated, Columbus thought he had landed in the East Indies and called the inhabitants “Indians”.  Later in October, Columbus would land on Hispaniola (Haiti), and Cuba.  When Columbus got to Cuba, he thought he was in China!
  • On Christmas 1492, the Santa Maria was shipwrecked near Haiti.  Columbus continued to return to Spain with the other two ships. He was welcomed as a hero.

 Hope everyone enjoyed this Columbus Day trivia break!

Federal Do Not Call Registry

October 9, 2007

In June 2003, consumers began having the option to have their phone numbers excluded from telemarketing list.  To accomplish this, consumers either registered online or via a phone call.

Be aware that the original exemption was for a five year time period, and that beginning in June 2008, the registry exemptions will expire.

 To extend your registration in the Do Not Call list, either go online to www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.  Please be aware that cell phones can also be added to this list.

Beware of Employment Scams!

October 3, 2007

Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to trick other people.  Whether it was for animal pelts, whiskey or money, people are always looking to gain an advantage.

However, when the advantage turns to criminal activity, and people are conned out of money – that’s a problem!

Scams take many forms, but one of the newest scams that is making the rounds works like this.  You get an e-mail or click on a link that promises money for working at home.  So far, it sounds OK. 

You sign up and get sent a money order to prepay you for the work that you will be doing, and are asked to wire back money for software that you will need.   That’s when the problems start.

First – the money order that you receive may look OK, but it will be counterfeit and when you deposit or cash the check, it will be returned.

Second – you will be responsible to pay back the financial institution for the returned counterfeit check amount.

Third – the money you wired will be lost to a crook!

The bottom line is use caution whenever you receive a check when you should not.  Or, if you receive a check for more than you expect and are asked to wire money back.

The lottery scam, auction scam, secret shopper scam and the other variations have been around for years in one form or another.  Don’t be the next victim.  If it’s sounds to good to be true – it usually is!!!