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Welcome to the Financial Wellness Center

New resources each week for the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union community.

This Week

Personal and Professional Etiquette

Whether you're applying for a new job, having a business lunch or talking about money, everyday personal etiquette says a lot about you.

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Featured Topics

Explore content and videos from the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union team.

Tools and Resources

Try our calculators, assessments and data tools.

Financial Wellness
Compare your financial health with a national sample.

College Explorer
Details on thousands of institutions across the country.

Mortgage Calculator
Quickly estimate monthly payments and total cost.

Identity Theft Prevention
How well do you protect your identity?

Financial Wellness Courses

Make real progress in less than an hour.

Credit Report with Score

Managing Credit

18 minutes

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Credit reports and scores, credit vs. debit cards, reading your credit report, plus more.

  • Credit vs. Debit Cards
    Credit and debit cards each have pros and cons. When should you use each?
  • Credit Reports and Scores
    Credit reports and scores determine the rates you pay when borrowing and can affect your ability to get certain jobs.
  • Risks and Benefits of Credit Cards
    Credit cards offer benefits for many consumers, but it's important to understand the risks of unsecured credit.
  • Building Credit
    Understanding the decisions and behaviors that can lead to improved credit scores.
  • Understanding the Credit Card Act of 2009
    How the new regulations work to protect card holders.
  • Reading Your Credit Report
    A detailed description of what to expect and look for when viewing a credit report.
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Identity Theft

21 minutes

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An overview of identity theft, including strategies for preventing it and what to do if it happens to you.

  • Identity Theft
    Understanding ID theft and how to prevent it.
  • Social Media and Identity Theft
    What you reveal online can compromise your personal and financial security.
  • Medical Identity Theft
    Medical identity theft is a little-known form of identity theft with consequences affecting more than just your wallet.
  • Avoiding Identity Theft
    The three Ds of identity protection: Deter, Detect and Defend.
  • Protecting Your Digital Information
    There are many data backup solutions available designed to protect personal information that vary in their security and ease of use.
  • Dealing with Identity Theft
    Understanding the different types of identity theft and what to do in each scenario.
3D dollar signs filling the image.

Paying for College

40 minutes

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The basics of financial aid, including the types of aid, applying for aid, borrower responsibilities, and repayment strategies.

  • Financial Aid Introduction
    Whether you're considering higher education for yourself or starting to plan for the education of your kids, understanding the financial aid process is the first step to meeting your education goals.
  • Types of Financial Aid
    The main types of financial aid are education loans, grants and scholarships, work-study, and service programs.
  • Creating an Aid Strategy
    Considerations when planning to pay for school, including school choice, employment options, accounting strategies, and the importance of borrowing wisely.
  • Understanding Financial Need
    Some aid is based on financial need and some is not. What exactly is "financial need?"
  • Applying for Aid
    The aid application process, including descriptions of the FAFSA and Profile forms.
  • Education Loans
    A description of the main types of student loans, including government loans, consolidation loans, and private loans.
  • Choosing the Right Loan
    Questions every student should be able to answer before taking on a student loan.
  • Selecting a Private Loan Lender
    When federal loans are not enough, private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and non-profit lenders can help to fill the gap.
  • The Master Promissory Note
    An introduction to the agreement that specifies your rights and responsibilities when accepting a student loan.
  • Repaying College Debt
    A look at common repayment plans, including how different plans affect your monthly payment and overall cost.
  • Borrowing Wisely
    Making smart choices about student loans, including a description of the impact of loan capitalization.
  • Independent Student Status
    Understanding your financial aid dependency status, including a discussion of what to do if the parents of dependent students refuse to help them pay for college.
  • Dealing with Too Little Aid
    Why some students find themselves with too little aid and what can be done to make ends meet.
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Managing Student Loan Debt

31 minutes

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An introduction to student loan repayment choices and strategies. Visit the Library for in-depth coverage of repayment plan options.

  • Making Smart Repayment Decisions
    Flexible federal student loan repayment plans can help you avoid financial trouble and reach your financial goals.
  • Repayment Strategies
    To repay your student loans, you need a comprehensive strategy to put your education debt in a larger financial picture that includes your income, non-education debt, and long-term goals.
  • How Repayment Plan Choices Affect Loan Cost
    Your repayment plan choice can greatly affect your monthly payment and the total cost of your student debt.
  • Deferment and Forbearance Options
    Both deferment and forbearance can help you avoid financial trouble. If you think you might qualify, reach out to your loan servicer as soon as you first experience financial difficulty.
  • Managing Loans in Times of Financial Distress
    You can’t always prevent financial stress, but how well you manage it will make all the difference in how successful you’ll be in meeting your repayment obligation.
  • Grace and Deferment Period Strategies
    Federal education loans all offer a grace or deferment period – a set amount of time during which repayment is not required. How you manage loans during your grace period can make a big difference.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness
    If you work in certain fields or for certain employers, a portion of your Direct Student Loan debt may be eligible for forgiveness.
  • Loan Consolidation
    Loan consolidation can simplify the loan repayment process, but you must review the loans you plan to consolidate carefully – once consolidated, there’s no going back.

About Santa Cruz Community Credit Union

Be a part of a community that genuinely cares about you! If you live, work or attend church in Santa Cruz County or north Monterey County, you can join the Credit Union. To become an SCCCU member, simply open a savings account with a $5 minimum deposit. Once you join, you’re a member and part-owner of the Credit Union for life — which means you actually have a say in your financial future.

Have a question?

Katie Fairburn
831-460-2311
katie.fairbairn@scccu.org

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