Why Use Credit?



While using cash and debit cards may seem like an easy way to keep yourself out of debt, credit cards can be useful when used responsibly. How can credit cards help? Read on.

Three Ways to Improve Your Credit Score



Having a strong credit score can mean saving money, earning perks, and more. It is considered by lenders before you are approved for a loan. Employers and landlords may also check your score before deciding to hire you or rent you an apartment. If you want to improve your credit score, here are three steps to take.

Protecting and Building Your Credit in 2020



As the economy gradually continues to reopen, consumers’ credit will play an important role in the recovery. Here are some strategies to protect and build your credit in 2020.

Fraud Prevention Series: How to Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud



In today's digital age, your credit card information may be increasingly at risk for theft. Fortunately, credit card fraud can be avoided by being diligent about storing and sharing your card information. Here are some ways to prevent credit card fraud.

Don't Let These Financial Terms Scare You



Have you ever been intimidated by financial terms you’re unsure about? Many people have the same fearful reaction when they hear terms like “credit check,” “home equity loan,” and “line of credit.” Let’s look into the meaning of these terms to better understand their benefits and alleviate fear.

Establishing Good Credit



Your credit score and credit report is your borrowing reputation. If you have a high score and positive credit report, lenders are more likely to lend you more money at lower rates. But how do you establish good credit?

How to Read a Credit Report



Have you looked at your credit report lately? Your credit report lists your personal information and your loans and is the basis for your credit score. You know having a high credit score is important, but part of positive credit is making sure your credit report is accurate.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Initiating a 0% APR Balance Transfer



Are you feeling the burden of holiday debt after purchasing all of those gifts for family and friends? If so, you’re not alone. The average American consumer racked up more than $1,000 in debt this past holiday season! Now that the holiday shopping season is over, it is prime time to consider 0% APR balance transfer specials for those credit cards carrying high balances. Balance transfers can be a great idea to avoid paying interest for several months or not at all. However, it’s important to be mindful of how these specials work so you don’t end up digging yourself a deeper hole.

Don't Let Fraudsters Trick You This Halloween



As technology advances, fraudsters get trickier and spookier. Now, more than ever, it is important to protect yourself against identity theft. Fraudsters use various techniques to disguise themselves, steal identities, and trick you into believing they are something or someone they’re not. Do you know how to recognize their tricks and protect yourself from fraud? Take a look at these security tips to keep your identity safe and protected.

2016 Money Resolutions: Evaluating Your Debt and Making a Plan



It’s time for part two of talking about money resolutions for 2016. This week I’ll be talking about making a plan to pay off debt. While some debt can actually improve your credit score (like having a mortgage with a good payment history), debt like credit card debt can lower your credit score and it costs you money every month!

What Do You Know About Card Cracking?



Card cracking is a scam that can hit you with thousands of dollars of debt, a ruined credit score, and even criminal charges. But what is card cracking?

Being Credit Smart: Store Credit Cards



I’m sure you’ve been asked to open a store credit card when shopping. It can seem like a good deal: you can often save 15% on your first purchase with the card. But how do store cards measure up? What happens to your credit when you open a store card?

When I first started researching store cards, there was a lot not to like. I looked at 22 stores in Lansing that offer a store credit card. Over 80% of the cards had an APR higher than 20%! I’m used to 8.9% APR with my MSUFCU Platinum Visa, so those numbers seem really high. Even with 15% off my first purchase, would a store card ever be worth it?

Pay for What You Need: Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards



When it’s time to pay for a trip or an appliance like your dryer breaks unexpectedly, you might want to finance instead of paying in cash. Maybe you don't have all the cash on hand or you don't want to deplete your savings. After you've decided to finance your purchase, how do you know if it’s better to use a personal loan or a credit card? Make your decision based on your financial habits and be sure to consider the interest rate!