Rebuilding Credit, Managing Debt

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Provident Credit Union's number one goal is to help ensure our members' financial health. Two of the most important components for sound financial health are maintaining good credit and managing money and debt responsibly.

There are times when financial challenges arise and it's hard to know where to turn. But rest assured, as a Provident member, you don't need to face it alone. We are here to help. Give us a call or stop by your local community branch.

Rebuilding Credit

If you're on the path to rebuilding your credit, Provident has many resources to help you succeed. From re-establishing credit to managing your finances, the following products and services will enable you to regain financial stability more easily and affordably:

  • Share-Secured Visa® Card — Start re-establishing good credit right here. This very low rate card carries a minimum $500 credit limit, which is secured by funds equal to 110% of your credit limit on deposit in your Provident savings account. When you handle this card responsibly for a few years, you may be eligible to apply for a regular Visa® Classic credit card. Apply now.
  • Share-Secured Consumer Loan — Put the money in your Provident savings account to work in helping to restore your credit. Our share-secured loan enables you to borrow against the funds in your savings account and our flexible repayment terms make it easy to take another step toward improving your credit. Apply now.
  • Term Certificate Secured Loan — Another way to rebuild credit is by taking a loan against your Term Share Certificate. Borrow up to 80% of the certificate's value and make monthly payments or repay the loan in full at the end of the certificate term. Apply now.

Additional Resources

The following resources may prove to be useful in helping you protect, improve and better understand your financial situation and credit rating.

  • SavvyMoney Checkup — With this online budget assistance program, a financial analysis is created based on basic information you provide about your present income level and debt. You'll also receive a personalized action plan for reducing debt, budget basics and tips for saving based on your age. SavvyMoney Checkup is free of charge and completely anonymous — no information is requested that can personally identify you. For details, go to www.savvymoney.com to access this online tool free of charge at any time.
  • Seminars — Provident hosts a variety of free seminars designed to educate members on ways to gain sound financial footing. Topics include investment planning, estate planning, retirement planning, identity theft protection and more. To find out upcoming dates and locations, click here.
  • Financial Education for the Entire Family — Teaching kids the financial basics is a great way to educate them early on about the importance of good money management. For an entertaining way to start them on the path to financial literacy, visit www.practicalmoneyskills.com. Sponsored by Visa® USA, this non-profit Web site offers games such as Financial Football, Financial Soccer, Road Trip to Savings and Smart Money Quiz Show, all designed to keep kids engaged while learning. The Web site also features information, articles and tips for everyone in your household, at every stage of financial life.

Opting Out from Pre-Screened Credit Offers

If you don't want to receive credit solicitations, you can elect to temporarily "opt out" from having your credit files sold to third party creditors by calling (888) 567-8688. This number covers all three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and Trans Union — and stops credit solicitations for five years.

You can also request to be permanently removed from mailing lists for pre-screened credit offers at www.optoutprescreen.com. If you prefer to submit your request in writing, send individual requests to each credit bureau at the addresses below:

  • Experian
    Post Office Box 919
    Allen, Texas 75013-0919
  • Equifax Opts
    Post Office Box 740123
    Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0123
  • Trans Union
    Marketing Opt-Out
    Post Office Box 97328
    Jackson, MS 39288-7328

Include your complete name, address, social security number, daytime telephone number and signature. Send your request via certified or registered mail to keep your information secure and protected.

Pick and Choose the Solicitations You Receive

Since 1971, the Direct Marketing Association has been giving consumers the ability to choose the companies who can solicit their business, including loan and credit card organizations. For more information and to take advantage of this free service, go to www.dmachoice.org and click on "DMA Choice" for consumers.

Alternatives to Bankruptcy

If you're considering filing bankruptcy, it's important to understand how doing so can affect your credit rating and financial situation for years to come. It's also important to know that there are other less extreme measures to consider. Consulting a legal professional who is well-versed in bankruptcy law is the first step to take.

Consumer Credit Counseling Services is an excellent resource. CCCS, a non-profit credit counseling agency, has certified credit counselors on staff who will help analyze your credit and help you understand how it works. A Debt Management Program is also available to help you reorganize and repay debt, thus enabling you to raise your credit score over time.

For more information on CCCS and its services, visit www.cccsstl.org or call (888) 656-CCCS.

Provident is Here for You

If financial issues arise and you need assistance, don't hesitate to come to us. Your financial security is our concern. We will be with you every step of the way.

To contact Provident Credit Union, call us at (800) 632-4600, or visit your local Provident community branch.