KALAMAZOO, Mich. (9/19/14)--To help its members navigate the often murky waters of building solid credit, Educational Community CU, Kalamazoo, Mich., has produced an educational e-book called "A Comprehensive Guide to Your Credit Score."
The book illustrates how critical credit can be in everyday life, and teaches individuals what a credit score is, why it's important and what factors cause it to rise and fall.
"The public is barraged daily with messages about credit, ranging from free credit to no money down, or easy preapprovals," said Jeff DeShane, vice president of lending for the $414 million-asset credit union. "As a financial institution, it's up to us to take a responsible role to educate our members and community about the wise use of credit."
Readers also are taught why it's important to check their credit reports on a regular basis, how to correct errors, and what steps to take to ramp up poor scores.
The e-book is part of a broader array of financial literacy initiatives undertaken by Educational Community, as the credit union also has launched credit seminars in area high schools for upperclassmen to prepare them for their financial futures.
Those efforts soon will be expanded to communitywide programs for participants of all ages, according to DeShane.
"With our educational roots, it only makes sense to take this approach to serving our members," DeShane said. "While we can't always approve every member for a loan, we can offer a plan to help improve their credit score so they can hopefully secure a loan in the future."