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How to Protect Your Credit During Difficult Times

 Credit Rating

 In the throes of a pandemic, keeping your credit score at a good level might not be top of mind if your job is in jeopardy and you are wondering how to keep the roof over your head and feed your family.

It is important nevertheless to do everything to keep your score intact. Your credit report is important. Blemishes stay on your file for seven years and can affect your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, or secure certain types of insurance. Here are some practical ways to achieve that goal.


Write down all recurring bills. If you can pay some of your bills but not all in month, make sure you start by paying secured debts first. These are debts tied to a tangible asset such as a house or a car. Falling behind on these bills might have big consequences. Not paying a mortgage might lead to foreclosure. Not paying your car loan might lead to repossession.  For unsecured debt like credit cards, try to make the minimum amount required.

Use your credit card wisely

Be aware that running up your card balances can affect your score.  Generally, using more that 30% of your available credit will reduce a credit score. Of course, this fact may not be of the utmost concern now but this is information to keep at the back of your mind.  If you need to use your card to pay bills you may be able to help your score by using a program that gives you credit for items not typically included on a report.   One such program is Experian Boost that will give you credit for phone and utility bills. 

Be aware of your protections

Don’t forget that under some circumstances, the recently passed CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) provides relief by letting you postpone payment on federally backed mortgages.  The Act also suspends payments on federal student loans through September 30.  You may be able to benefit from these protections due to your particular circumstances. Read and research.

Check your credit report

Don’t assume everything is OK. Be sure to keep on top of your credit report. Historically, the big three reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have long offered a free annual credit report.  Now all three are offering free weekly credit reports for the next year to help consumers protect their score during the coronavirus crisis.  Scrutinize for errors and ask for corrections to be made if there are mistakes on your credit reports.

Contact your lenders

If you are unable to make payments, be sure to contact your lenders right away.  Most financial institutions have offered emergency loan deferments, the waiving of late fees and loan extensions.  For more information on how your credit union can assist you during these troubled times, visit us at

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Social Team

Protect Yourself and Avoid Identity Theft

In the age of data breaches, phishing scams and fraudsters using technology to steal identities, we have to be so careful with our personal information.  Criminals take the information they steal and sell it on the Dark Web.  Not just once, but, many times over.  What is the Dark Web?  It’s a whole different side of the internet that is anonymously used by criminals to buy and sell stolen identities for illegal profits. Once your identity has been stolen, it can take up to 6 months or longer to fix and cost thousands.

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Consolidated Credit

How to Avoid Imposter Scams

How to Avoid Imposter Scams

July is National Military Consumer Month. It’s a month where the Federal Trade Commission focuses on helping military Service Members, Veterans and their families learn about key consumer protections they need to be successful. For the second year, the FTC is focusing Military Consumer Month on imposter scams. The goal is to help military personnel understand imposter scams and the steps they can take to avoid them. But in reality, everyone can use this advice to avoid getting scammed.

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Social Team

Benefits of Using E-statements

Benefits of Using E-statements

In this day and age, doing good for the environment should be a priority on everyone's mind. From cleaning up trash to reducing waste, people from all over the world are doing what they can to improve this planet. One way that’s done involves using e-statements over traditional paper statements. Although it seems like a minimal change, using e-statements can lead to some amazing benefits. While environmental change is a leading benefit, using e-statements poses some other incredible advantages. See below for a list of the benefits.

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NXG Strategies

It’s Open Season on Tax Fraud. Stay Safe!

Protect yourself from Tax Fraud.

Tax time is here! As you prepare your returns this year it is important to remember that it’s peak season for tax fraud schemes. Tax fraud happens when someone uses your Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for your refund or to intimidate you into paying money that you do not owe. Criminals can also use your SSN to get around employment verification requirements or avoid being found out if they are on a list such as a sex offender registry.

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NXG Strategies

Two Minutes and a Phone Call Can Turn Into Identity Theft

Don't fall for a vishing scam.

There are so many things you can do in under two minutes - brush and floss your teeth, make a delicious cheese quesadilla, walk 200 steps, or become a victim of identity theft! These days, identity theft doesn't just come from cyber criminals hacking multimillion-dollar organizations to steal data, it's also criminals gathering data from a simple two-minute phone conversation that could put you at risk for identity theft.

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