Using Credit Wisely

Your credit union offers many attractive and affordable financing options for Members, but to ensure that you always have access to the credit you need, you must use your credit wisely.


How Much is Too Much?

Use the 20% rule. Add up your monthly credit debt but DO NOT include your mortgage payment in this number. Now compare this amount to your monthly take home pay. If more than 20% is going toward repaying your debt, you are probably overusing credit.

Make Some Adjustments

Use the following tips to manage your credit:

  • Pay on time and live within your means
  • Limit the number of credit cards you carry
  • Stick to the 20% rule
  • Never charge more than you can comfortably pay off within 3 months

If you ever find yourself barely making the minimum payments or worrying about missing a mortgage or auto loan payment, contact a local non-profit credit counseling agency like Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County for a credit and debt assessment.

Know Your Due Dates

With all the junk mail, flyers, and leaflets you receive in your mailbox every day, it’s easy to toss your mail aside and “save it for another day.” By doing this, you run the risk of missing due dates for everything from utility bills to credit cards, car loans, and even mortgages.

To avoid this common problem, make a list of your due dates and keep it where you will see it every day. Better yet, do your monthly bill paying with SchoolsFirst FCU’s Online Banking and we’ll help you track your bills and make sure they’re paid on time.

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Extra Credit provides general information to help improve our Member’s financial lives. Every situation is different, so please contact us for guidance on your specific needs. The advice provided in Extra Credit is not intended to serve as a substitute for speaking to a loan representative, financial advisor, or BALANCE counselor who can help tailor a solution for you.

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