Tag Archives: bill pay

Why Does My Credit Score Matter?

Your credit score affects just about every facet of your life, so knowing what causes it to rise or fall is important.

Your credit score is made up of three numbers, serving as an indicator of your financial history, wellness and responsibility. These three little numbers can spell the difference between approval and rejection for a mortgage, a job, a rental unit and so much more.

We have outlined how your credit score is calculated, why it matters and steps you can take to improve your score.

How is my credit score calculated?

There are three major credit bureaus in the U.S.: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Each one collects and shares information about your credit usage with potential lenders and financial institutions. Most lenders use this information along with the FICO scoring model to calculate your credit worthiness. Some lenders use the VantageScore model instead of FICO.

While there are several slight differences between the FICO and the VantageScore formulas, both scoring models look at the following factors when calculating your score:

  • The age of your credit. How long have you had your oldest credit card? When was your first loan? An older credit history generally boosts your score.
  • The timeliness of your bill payments. Are you paying all of your monthly bills on time? Chronic late payments, particularly loan and credit card payments, can drastically reduce your score.
  • The ratio of your outstanding debt to available credit. The VantageScore formula views consumers with a lot of available credit as a liability, while the FICO formula considers this a point in your favor.
  • The diversity of your credit. Lenders want to see that you have and have had several kinds of open credit. For example, you may be paying down an auto loan, a student loan and using three credit cards.
  • The trajectory of your debt. Are you accumulating new debt each month, or slowly working toward paying down every dollar you owe?
  • Your credit card usage. Financial experts recommend having several open credit cards to help boost your credit score, but this only works if you actually use the cards and pay off your bills each month. It doesn’t help much to have the cards sitting in your wallet.

How does my credit score affect my life?

Your credit score serves as a gauge for your financial wellness to anybody who is looking to get a better idea of how responsible you are with your financial commitments.

Here are just some ways your credit score can affect your day-to-day life:

  • Loan eligibility. This is easily the most common use for your credit score. Lenders check your score to determine whether you will be eligible for a loan. The larger the loan, the stricter the requirements. A poor credit score can hold you back from buying a house, a car, or getting a personal loan at USAgencies Credit Union.
  • Interest rates on loans. Here too, your credit score plays a large role in your financial reality. A higher score can get you a lower interest rate on your loan, and a poor score can mean paying thousands of extra dollars in interest over the life of the loan.
  • Employment. A study by the Society for Human Resources Management found that 47 percent of employers look at the credit scores of potential employees as part of the hiring process.
  • Renting. Many landlords run credit checks on new tenants before signing a lease agreement. A poor credit score can prevent you from landing that dream apartment or it can prompt your landlord to demand you make a higher deposit before moving in.
  • Insurance coverage. Most insurers will check your credit before agreeing to provide you with coverage. Consumer Reports writes that a lower score can mean paying hundreds of dollars more for auto coverage each year.

How to improve your credit score

If you’re planning on taking out a large loan in the near future, applying for a new job, renting a new unit or you just want to improve your score, follow these steps:

  • Pay your bills on time. If you have the income to cover it but find getting things paid on time to be a challenge, consider using automatic payments.
  • Pay more than the minimum payment on your credit cards. Your credit score takes the trajectory of your debt into account. By paying more than just the minimum payment on your credit cards, you can show you’re working on paying down your debt and help improve your score.
  • Pay your credit card bills before they’re due. If you can, it’s best to pay your credit card bills early. This way, more of your money will go toward paying down your outstanding balance instead of interest.
  • Find out if you have any outstanding medical bills. You may have an unpaid medical bill you’ve forgotten about. These can significantly drag down your credit score, so be sure to settle any outstanding medical bills as quickly as possible.
  • Consider debt consolidation. If you’re paying interest on multiple outstanding debts each month, you may benefit from paying off your debt from taking out a personal loan at USAgencies Credit Union. This way, you’ll only have one low-interest payment to make each month. (Note: If you’ll be applying for a large loan within the next few months, it’s better not to open any new cards.)

It’s crucial that you make the effort to improve and maintain your credit score. It’s more than just a number; it will impact your financial wellness for years to come.


As a member of USAgencies Credit Union, you have free access to your credit score and credit report through our Online and Mobile Banking.

Do you have questions about membership or your USAgencies accounts? Connect with us at 503-275-0300 Option 4, or visit our branch at 95 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR. We look forward to hearing from you!

We’ve Got a New Look

We are so excited to finally bring you a better banking experience with our new Website, Online and Mobile Banking. However, we understand that this change will take some time to get used to and we are here to help you through the transition. To help you get everything out of your new banking experience, here are some tips on how to navigate the new changes, and what has changed.

First-time log in as a Bill Pay User

If you have used Bill Pay since January 1, 2017 you have been pre-enrolled in our new Online Banking system. Simply login to your account with these steps:

  • Visit Our Website and click the “Login” button in the upper right corner of the page
  • Your username is your Member Number
  • Your temporary password is the last 4 digits of the primary account holders social security number + birth year (e.g., If your social security number is 0000-00-4321 and you were born in 1936, your temporary password is 43211936)
  • Upon initial login with your temporary information, you will be prompted to select a new Username and Password
  • Complete the following instructions to confirm your additional and contact information

Registers for the first time not as a Bill Pay User

If you are not a Bill Pay User, to login for the first time you will need to follow these steps:

  • Visit Our Website and click the “Login” button in the upper right corner of the page, followed by selecting “New User” in the login window.
  • Complete the required requested information
  • Once complete you will be prompted to read and agree to the Online Banking User Agreement. If you Agree, hit the “Finish” button.
  • Upon successful registration, follow the instructions to verify your contact information via the available channels.
  • Once verified you will need to login for the first time and set up your One Time Passcode ( OTP ) delivery options. ( Note: you are required to set up at one phone number or email address to continue).
  • Once you receive the OTP, enter it into the provided box ( Note: forgotten passwords can only be retrieved via text message or phone ; email is NOT an option).
  • Next, select whether you want to register your device as private ( skip the OTP from now on using this device ) or public ( will require an OTP upon every login)
  • You are in!

What’s New?

  • Fingerprint and Face ID – Quick access to your account information on your mobile device.
  • Text Message Banking (454545) – Get the latest account balance and history information, transfer funds, receive weekly balance via text messages.
  • Customization – Hide, show, and sort accounts any way you want in Online Banking, you can control how you want to view your accounts.
  • Live Chat – Securely chat with us within your online accounts during business hours. Available in Mobile Banking too!
  • Mobile Web Banking – Full access to your account information, right from the palm of your hand! Securely view your account balances and transaction history, transfer funds, pay bills, receive notifications, live chat, and more.
  • Money Management – Budgeting can be stressful, our new money management tool will make your life easier.
  • PopMoney is now available without having to sign up for bill pay. Splitting bills has never been easier!

What is the same?

  • Bill Pay – Your payees, payment history, scheduled and recurring payments are all ready for you in the new system!
  • eStatements – If you are signed up for eStatements, you can easily view them by logging into your Online Banking and hovering over “Account Information” and selecting “Online Statements” from the drop down menu.

Questions?

We are here to help you through this exciting transition, as we know sometimes change isn’t easy. Please do not hesitate to call us, visit our branch, or send us a secure message.

 

 

 

 

Save the Date : New Website, Online and Mobile Banking coming 08.21

In our efforts to bring you the best possible online and mobile banking experience, we are upgrading our Website, Online and Mobile Banking solutions. The new system will be available August 21, 2018 for an even better banking experience!

Here are a few of the new features and enhancements:

  • The New Online Banking system will feature innovative solutions. This includes tools that allow you to track your spending habits, set a budget, create goals and more.
  • The New Mobile Banking will feature Fingerprint ID login on mobile devices, Bill Pay and more.
  • Customization of your new Online Banking will allow you to hide, show, and sort accounts any way you want, giving you full control of how you want to view your accounts within the new Online Banking system.
  • Text Message Banking is coming and it will allow you to get quick account information via any mobile device.
  • Live Chat will now be available during business hours giving you more ways to get in touch with us! Our live chat feature is available in both Online and Mobile Banking.

What steps should you take now to get prepared for the upgrade?

  • You will need to register for the new system, so make sure you know your member number.
  • Make sure that we have your current contact information. This includes your address, phone number and email. We want to make sure you do not miss any important reminders or notifications we will be sending out in the coming weeks leading up to the launch!
  • Bill Pay access will be unavailable from 08.17 to 08.20. Your scheduled bill payments and transfers will continue as usual during this. Be sure to make any necessary changes prior to 08.17.

Want to stay updated? Bookmark our Save the Date webpage as we will update the information periodically to keep you informed. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!