Tips To Improve Your Credit Score
How much you earn and how much you spend are both important numbers in your financial life. But theres another number with an impact on your financial security: your credit score. Your credit score is a three-digit number the credit union and other lenders use to decide if you qualify for loans and credit cards at the most favorable terms. The higher your score, the better your chance of getting the best rate available - saving you money. Insurance companies also may use credit scores in their risk/rate calculation, and landlords may use it to decide whether or not you will be a tenant who promptly pays the rent.
Because the credit union and other lenders want you to pay us back, your credit score is based on a formula or algorithm that is used to predict how likely it is you will make your loan or credit card payment on time. There are numerous scoring models, but a majority of them consider your payment history, how many credit cards you use, how long youve had accounts open, the types of accounts you have and how often you apply for new credit.
If you have a low credit score, it will take time to raise it. Be wary of any credit-repair outfits promising a quick fix. Usually, about 70 percent of your score is based on whether you pay your bills on time, so thats a good place to start. The models also take into account how much credit you use, versus your credit limit. This credit utilization ratio rewards those with low balances. Resist the urge to open new credit card accounts, no matter how good a deal it seems at the time. Unless you are paying fees, dont close the credit card account youve had the longest.
Its also a good idea to check your credit report regularly. Your credit report is a summary of your credit history and any errors on it could be affecting your score. You are entitled to a free copy from the three major credit reporting agencies every 12 months. Order online from annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.
ATM skimmers or shimmers alone don't capture ATM PINs. Fraudsters often rely on tiny hidden camera overlays. Unfortunately, ATM tampering continues to plague credit unions and members. Recent reports show that fraudsters have cleverly focused on drive-up ATM's since people are less likely to cover the keypad as they enter their pin.
There are many ways to install hidden cameras. Usually they are concealed somewhere on the front of the ATM. Frequently, fraudsters skillfully conceal the insert skimmers into the card slot and pair it with a hidden camera covering the security camera which is angled towards the keypad or they may use one that is disguised as a PIN pad privacy cover. They also use an all in one type of skimmer that covers the entire mouth of the card reader slot.
Stand alone ATM's at stores and in parking lots are the most enticing targets for thieves, as are drive-up ATMs where users find it more difficult to cover their PIN as they type it in. Fraudsters realize that people will be either lazy or just find it too difficult to attempt to conceal entering their PIN with the other hand which allows the hidden cameras to capture the PIN.
Unfortunately, cameras aren't the only tools at the ATM skimmer's disposal. Fake keypads can be used to record PINs as well. Simply covering your PIN with your other hand or some object such as a wallet is the best way to combat having your PIN compromised.
Potential indicators of tampering can include:
- Sticky residue or evidence of an adhesive to affix the device
- Damaged or crooked pieces
- Loose or extra attachments on the card slot
- Noticeable resistance when pressing the keypad, card reader, or around the camera area
Unfortunately, new ways of fraud are happening every day. If you suspect ATM tampering or altered devices, please report it to the union right away.
Snap, Pay and Done!
Now you can take a picture of a paper bill and pay it from your mobile banking app! Users can set up a schedule for payment and receive alerts to pay bills on time! Simply download PAFCU's Mobile app or get it on Google Play today!
To avoid rejections of deposit, please endorse check with your signature, member number and FOR MOBILE DEPOSIT Only. Please retain your check for 60 calendar days.
PAFCU Gold/Platinum Mastercard Credit Cards and Debit Cards Are Here!
As part of our ongoing commitment to continuously improve the benefits and services we offer our members, we have upgraded our debit and credit cards to MasterCard. Your new cards will include EMV Chip Technology, to help protect you against fraud and enhance your payment experience. To learn more or to apply, click here now!
Give The Gift Of Credit Union Membership
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a friend or family member? Look no further than a People's Alliance Membership. Whether it's for a birthday, the holidays, or just a way to say "thank you," CU membership is the gift that keeps on giving! Speak with a Member Service Representative today by calling (631) 434-3500, or by stopping into any branch location.
Get Rewarded with UChoose Rewards
At People's Alliance we want to make sure our members not only save their money wisely, but spend it wisely too! When you have a PAFCU Mastercard® you will have the opportunity to sign up for our exclusive UChoose Rewards Program which lets you earn points on your purchases. You can shop both instore at national and local retailers or online through www.uchooserewards.com. Our UChoose Rewards Program lets you earn points on your purchases, redeemable toward concert tickets, a new HDTV, a fun-filled cruise, and millions of other exciting options!
In addition, a PAFCU Mastercard® Platinum Card benefits include:
- No annual fee
- No balance transfer fee
- No cash advance fee
- Transfer a balance of $1,000 or more from another credit card and receive an APR of 4.0% for 6 months
Spending money doesn't have to be stressful if you have a PAFCU Mastercard Platinum Card in your wallet! Reward yourself and sign up today by clicking on the "Apply Now" button above or stop by any branch for a Mastercard Card application. To learn more about the UChoose Rewards Program click here or to speak with a PAFCU Representative, call 631-434-3500.
Mobile App Puts PAFCU In The Palm Of Your Hand
Now wherever you go, take the credit union with you. Our mobile app puts PAFCU as close as your mobile device. No extra trips to the credit union to apply for a loan, access our online loan application through our app. Or deposit most checks with remote deposit capture. You'll simply sign the check and snap a photo of both sides to make the deposit. (Some restrictions apply. Contact us for details.)
With our mobile app, you also can check your account balances and view other details about savings, checking, certificates, loans, and credit cards. Find out all you can do with your mobile device by visiting pafcu.org or just stop by the credit union. Then you can download the app and enjoy all the conveniences of having the credit union in the palm of your hand.
Secure Your Funds With Share Certificates
Smart investors are "SLY" investors. SLY stands for safety, liquidity and yield and is a time-honored way to make a safe financial bet. Secure your funds with share certificates from People's Alliance where you can put the SLY principle to work for you.
Safety: Your money is safe in the credit union, where it's insured up to $250,000.
Liquidity and Yield: You can time the maturity of your certificates to coincide with when you need the funds. And you can take advantage of better yields by putting your share certificates on a ladder. Here's how it works: Say, you have $2,400 to invest. Purchase four $600 certificates for four different terms, for example, one for six months, one for a year, one for 18 months and one for 2 years. When the six-month certificate matures, use it to purchase another 2-year certificate. Your original one-year certificate now matures in six months. When it matures, you can again purchase a 2-year certificate and so on. Or, if you need the money, you can use the funds instead.
Also, take advantage of these Special Certificates from PAFCU:
Limited Time Offer: High Yield 15 Month Certificate – Annual Percentage Yieldis 1.74%* with a minimum balance of $500. This is fornew money depositedonly.
Lucky Savers Account: Win Cash Prizes:
- 12-month Building Share Certificate*
- PAFCU members ages 18 years and older
- Minimum deposit of $25
- Monthly and quarterly cash prizes!
- For every $25 deposit earn 1 entry into prize drawings. (Be sure to see the official rules.) No minimum number of deposits,maximum 10 entries per month.
*Penalty will be imposed for early withdrawal.
Drive Away With A Better Rate And The Best Price
Know Your Numbers: Why Pre-Approval Matters
Before you head to the dealership, be sure to stop in and get pre-approved for an auto loan. This important first step will put you in a better position to negotiate at the dealership.
PAFCU pre-approval is also crucial to helping you get a better interest rate. Even a 1% difference in APR could save you thousands over the life of your loan. Pre-approval also helps to set a firm budget for buying. Get pre-approved today at pafcu.org or stop in at your local branch. Now it's time to start shopping!
Find Your Next Car in Three Simple Steps
Few of us begin the car purchase process with an exact make and model in mind. We may have an idea, (for example, a sedan with great fuel economy), but without available inventory, how are we able to narrow our selection and make the best choice?
Use the auto shopping resource to find the right vehicle via three simple steps:
- First, choose a body style
- Next, set a price range, and
- Pick the options you want.
Our easy-to-use tool will make car shopping a breeze. Let's find the right vehicle today!
Do Your Homework With Free CARFAX Reports
You wouldn't take a big exam without studying first. So why would you buy a pre-owned car without looking at its CARFAX report? They provide valuable information about a vehicle's history, including accidents, fire, flood and other damage. CARFAX reports can cost $40, but when you shop for your used car with us, they're free! For more information click Everything Automotive to find your next car.
Provided they are available through the dealership.
Take The Hassle Out Of Payday With Direct Deposit
Nowadays everyone is on the go. Schedules are jam-packed. Convenience is a necessity and mobile is the buzzword. Who has time to let financial management slow them down? Here at PAFCU we couldn't agree more, and we're always trying to come up with simple solutions to make your life easier. Direct deposit is one of them.
By signing up for Direct Deposit at PAFCU, you can actually save time and money, in one super-simple, hassle-free step. With this free service, your funds (paycheck, etc.) will go right into your account(s) without you having to do it yourself, and ensures that your money gets to your account before you have the chance to spend it.
Plus, with Direct Deposit, you:
- Avoid waiting in line to do transactions at the credit union.
- Eliminate worrying about your paycheck in the mail if you're out of town.
- Have instant access to your money through your PAFCU Checking Account, ATM network, Home Banking, and Mobile App.
- Keep track of your deposits since Direct Deposit funds are listed on your paystub and statements.
- Receive lower rates on your loans with PAFCU. This rate reduction is offered for most loans, ask a PAFCU representative for details.
Stop the hassle and start the saving today with Direct Deposit – call or stop by to sign up!
e-Step On Over To Our Online Services
In today's busy, tech-driven society, everyone is on the go – working, raising a family, socializing, going to school, traveling, sporting events, music lessons, you name it! There are meetings, to-dos, events, deadlines – the list goes on. Bottom line...we're mobile and we need a financial institution that's right there with us. PAFCU recognizes this and has plenty of options for simple, anytime access to your accounts.
Easy, convenient financial management is just a search, click, and e-Step away! With our line of e-Services, members can do the following using their phone or computer, at any time, wherever they are:
- Check account balances
- Review transaction history
- Transfer funds between accounts
- Pay bills electronically (including editing pending payments)
- Locate a PAFCU ATM or Branch and get directions
- Contact PAFCU for quick assistance
- And more!
Our suite of convenient, secure e-Services includes:
- Home Banking
- Mobile Banking/APP
- Online Bill Payer
- Automated Telephone Banking with Tel-Me
- Account Alerts
- Direct Deposit
- And more!
For details on these services and info on how to sign up, visit e-services today.