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Making the Right Picks For Your Financial Bracket

The onset of March means two things:

1) March Madness® is upon us.

2) It’s National Credit Education Month!

When it comes to making decisions about your finances, it’s not always as simple as picking your brackets by your favorite mascots or the team’s colors. This National Credit Education Month, we are here to help you make the right picks to build the best bracket for your financial future! With so many offers out there vying to be your number one seed, we have compiled a list of different options to consider that can have big impacts on your journey to being a financial champion!


Debt Repayment Options: Picking the right debt repayment strategy is crucial for achieving financial freedom and managing debt effectively. Consolidation, the snowball method, debt avalanche, and other strategies offer distinct approaches tailored to individual needs and preferences. Debt consolidation involves combining multiple debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate, simplifying repayment and potentially reducing overall interest costs. The snowball method focuses on paying off debts starting with the smallest balances first, providing psychological wins and momentum as each debt is cleared. Conversely, the debt avalanche method prioritizes debts with the highest interest rates, minimizing overall interest expenses over time. Each strategy has its merits, and the most suitable approach depends on factors such as the amount and types of debt, interest rates, and personal financial goals. By carefully evaluating these factors and picking a strategy aligned with your circumstances, you can take significant steps towards becoming debt-free and becoming a financial champion.

Credit Mix: Understanding credit mix is an essential aspect of credit education. It refers to the variety of credit types that an individual has in their credit history. It’s one of the factors that impact a person’s credit score, and picking the right mix of credit accounts will help borrowers maximize their credit score chances of approval. Credit mix considers the amount of revolving credit, installment loans, and retail accounts that a borrower has, including credit limits and your utilization of available credit. Having too much revolving credit or retail accounts, or maxing them out, can lead to a personal foul. Ideally, you will have a good balance of installment loans and revolving credit – but it’s not advisable to open credit accounts solely for the purpose of improving credit mix. Make smart picks when taking on debt to meet your needs, and your credit profile will be headed to the championship!

Credit Card Promotions: Unlocking the potential of credit card promotions can be a game-changer in managing your finances. These enticing offers, ranging from cashback rewards to travel perks, can provide significant value if understood and utilized effectively. Although many credit card companies advertise “0% interest” promotions on balance transfers, these often come with higher interest rates when the promotion ends as well as a fee based on the amount you transfer. Delving into the fine print is crucial to avoid hidden fees, high interest rates, and potential pitfalls. By understanding the terms, limitations, and requirements of credit card promotions, you can maximize their benefits while safeguarding your financial stability. Whether it’s earning rewards on everyday purchases or taking advantage of introductory APR periods, a savvy approach to credit card promotions can lead to bigger savings, smarter spending, and greater financial flexibility.

Co-signing a Loan for Someone: Cosigning can be a well-intentioned gesture of support, but its ramifications on credit can be significant. When you cosign a loan or credit card for someone else, you’re essentially vouching for their ability to repay the debt. While this act can help the other person secure financing they may not otherwise qualify for, it also intertwines your credit history with theirs.

If the borrower makes late payments or defaults on the loan, it can damage both your credit scores. Additionally, cosigning can affect your ability to qualify for new credit since lenders consider the cosigned debt as your financial obligation.

Before cosigning, it’s crucial to carefully consider the risks and ensure you trust the borrower’s ability to repay. Communication and clear agreements can mitigate some of the potential pitfalls, but it’s essential to weigh the impact on your own financial well-being before making this pick for your financial bracket.


If you have found yourself making the wrong picks in the past leaving your financial bracket feeling busted, it’s never too late to turn things around! Contact your credit union to help rebuild your financial bracket to one that wins for you. All of our staff are certified financial coaches, and are here to help you understand how to make credit work for you. Contact us through online banking, by visiting a branch, or by phone toll free at 866-653-4392.


March may bring madness to college basketball, but with the right picks you can bring harmony to your finances!

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