The Benefits of Improving Your Credit

Having good credit is essential to a healthy financial well-being. This is due mostly to the fact that obtaining loans is a necessary part of life, and the availability of these loans is based on having a good credit score. Having a good score will help you buy a car, purchase a home, get lower interest rates – even obtain certain jobs.

Building Your Credit

So, how do you build good credit? If you don’t have credit, one of the easiest ways to start is to open a credit card. Search around and find one that doesn’t have a service fee and has a lower APR. At TopLine, we not only offer credit cards with tons of features, but they also come with many perks! Both the Platinum and Platinum Rewards VISA cards are loaded with benefits:

  • Screenshot (301)Low variable APR based on your credit history
  • No annual fees
  • No over-the-limit fee
  • Free eStatements
  • Free online account access
  • Automatic payment options
  • Cash Advances
  • VISA’s Zero Liability Program
  • Worldwide travel and emergency assistance
  • Free auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Warranty Manager Service

Calculating Your Credit Score

If you already have credit, it is important to know where you stand. Before you request copies of your credit report, make sure you know how your FICO Score is calculated. That will help you understand how to read your reports and what each score means. Here is a breakdown of the ranges of credit and what they mean:

  • Excellent Credit: 750 +
  • Good Credit: 700-749
  • Fair Credit: 650-699
  • Poor Credit: 600-649
  • Bad Credit: Below 600

The steps to find your credit score are as follows:

  1. Obtain a credit report – you are able to have one free copy per year. Make sure that you get a credit report from each of the credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
  2. Compare and contrast the reports to find any discrepancies.
  3. If you find some that are inaccurate, be sure to dispute them right away. The longer they remain on your credit report, the more they bring down your score.

Improving Your Credit

Whether your credit report looks to be in good shape or needs improvement, it is important to consistently stay on top of it. The two easiest ways to do that is to reduce the amount of debt you owe as fast as you can and to set up payment reminders so that you don’t default. One of the fastest ways to pay off debt is to use the Debt Snowball Method. People have paid off tens of thousands of dollars in the matter of a few years with this strategy. You can also check out consolidation options to make payments easier and to lower interest rates. At TopLine, we offer personal loans as a form of debt consolidation.

Extra tips for how to improve your credit can be found here.

There are many benefits of having a good credit score – it simply makes life easier. You will see the benefits of lower interest rates and more financial opportunities open up for you like never before – good credit opens doors. Don’t go another day not knowing where you stand or having a bad creditor further lower your score.

TopLine celebrates 17th year of Holiday Toy Drive

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TopLine Federal Credit Union is celebrating the 17th year of its Holiday Toy Drive.

The public is able to stop by any TopLine location through December 21 to place a new, unwrapped gift under the holiday tree to benefit Community Emergency Assistance Programs (CEAP), Keystone Community Services and the Toys for Tots Foundation.

People making donations can take an ornament from the tree as our way of saving thank you for your generosity.

TopLine wishes everyone a happy holiday in 2015!

TopLine would like to thank Cheryl, a member of our Como Park branch.

For the last decade, Cheryl has hand-made nearly 300 stuffed animals, which she has graciously donated to our toy drive.

Here is Cheryl in front of of the holiday tree in Como Park.

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Last year, CEAP served nearly 700 families with 1,820 children new toys for the holidays.

CEAP serves Hennepin and Anoka Counties and is a community-based, non-profit agency that partners with other resources to assist people in need.

The mission of CEAP is to stabilize individuals and families in financial distress and to maximize their ability to live independently and with dignity. Visit CEAP.com to learn more.

Keystone’s Gift of Hope program provided gifts for children along with household goods for the adults in each family.

Last year, Keystone was able to provide toys, clothes, gifts and household items for 44 families (278 children and 70 adults). More than 2,800 toys, gifts and household items were donated.

Keystone is a community-based volunteer organization in St. Paul that helps thousands of low-income individuals and families in the East Metro Area. Keystone’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of individual and families to improve their quality of life. Visit keystoneservices.org to learn more.

TopLine Federal Credit Union, a Twin Cities-based credit union, is Minnesota’s 13th-largest, with assets of more than $350 million. Established in 1935, the not-for-profit cooperative offers a complete line of financial services, as well as auto and home insurance, from its five branch locations — in Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Plymouth and in St. Paul’s Como Park — as well as by phone, mobile app and online at TopLinecu.com. Membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington Counties and their immediate family members.