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Learn About Credit and Credit Cards

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For most people, the major purchases in life – home, car, college education, home improvements – are difficult or impossible without credit. Loans allow you to spread the expense over time, making these purchases affordable.

Learn about credit, credit cards and the responsible use of credit throughout this section of Show Me.

Why credit and credit scores are important

This section of Show Me will talk about credit – how it works, how to use it responsibly, how to know if you are having difficulty with credit, and what to do if you are.

Credit scores are vital to your financial health since it helps lender and others predict how likely you are to make your credit payments on time. And your credit score matters since it affects whether you can get credit and what you pay for credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and other kinds of credit. For most kinds of credit higher credit scores, means you are more likely to pay a lower interest rate.

Want to rent an apartment? Without good scores, your apartment application may be turned down by the landlord. Your scores also may determine how big a deposit you will have to pay for telephone, electricity or natural gas service.

Lenders look at your scores all the time. They look at your scores when deciding, for example, whether to change your interest rate or credit limit on a credit card, or whether to send you an offer through the mail. Having good credit scores makes your financial dealings a lot easier and can save you money in lower interest rates. That's why they are a vital part of your financial health.

DCU Credit Resources


DCU has partnered with BALANCE, a financial fitness program, that offers DCU members free, unbiased financial information and assistance. Their website at describes their services and has some helpful publications that you can download in Adobe Acrobat format directly from your computer in minutes. They also have many online calculators that can help you solve common financial problems.

Free FICO Credit Score

Another great way to start learning more about what shape your personal credit is in is by signing up for DCU's FREE FICO Credit Score Service.

Credit and Credit Card Topics