Your credit history is one of the most valuable assets you possess. It’s a direct reflection of your ability to repay money borrowed from a financial institution, including those who issue credit cards, mortgages, and vehicle or student loans. Good credit can be the difference between opportunity and denial. Protecting your credit against fraud or identity theft and avoiding damaged credit is simple when you follow these helpful tips:

• Shred any paperwork containing personal information.
• Secure documents containing personal data in a locked file drawer, cabinet or box. • Limit the number of credit cards you use and carry.
• Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you initiate the contact.
• Take your name off mailing lists so that you are less vulnerable to identity theft. • Memorize your Social Security number and passwords to avoid having them recorded in your wallet or purse.
• In the event of a lost or stolen credit card, call the credit card company immediately. File a police report and contact all three credit bureaus to request that a “fraud alert” be placed on your name and Social Security number.
• Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus on a yearly basis.

Look to the Credit Union as your financial partner with the resources to help you build and maintain your good credit rating.