Welcome to the Money Fit for Life Resource Center

Are you struggling with finances? Could you use a little help understanding more about building good credit or setting up a budget? Well, we can help. We’ve assembled some of our top tips and resources to better help our members.


Understanding credit scores and what impacts your score can be a bit of a mystery. That’s why we’ve provided an easy-to-understand overview of what comprises your score and some tips for improving your score.

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Ways to Improve Your Score

  • Pay off or pay down credit cards
  • Do not close cards because capacity may decrease
  • Move revolving debt to installment debt
  • Make payments on time (older late pays become less significant)
  • Slow down opening of new accounts
  • Acquire a solid credit history with years of experience

Things That Hurt Your Score

  • Missing payments (regardless of amount, it can take 24 months to restore credit with one late payment)
  • Credit cards at capacity (i.e. maxing out credit cards)
  • Shopping for credit excessively
  • Opening numerous credit accounts in a short timeframe
  • Having more revolving debts in relation to installment debts
  • Closing credit cards (this could lower available capacity)

What Makes Your Score?

  • 35% = Based on payment history (i.e. on-time or delinquent)
  • More weight on current pay history
  • 30% = Capacity (capacity is king)
  • 15% Length of credit
  • 10% Accumulation of debt in the past 12-18 months
  • Number of inquiries and opening dates
  • 10% Mix of credit
  • Installment (can raise) vs. revolving (can lower)
  • Finance company loans can lower your score

Range of Scores: (These ranges will vary by Lender)

  • 850 – 730 = A+ (Excellent)
  • 729 – 680 = A
  • 679 – 640 = B
  • 639 – 600 = C
  • 599 – 550 = D
  • 549 and Below = E

Approximate Credit Weight for Each Year:

  • 40% = current to 12 months
  • 30% = 12 – 24 months
  • 20% = 25 – 36 months
  • 10% = 37+ months

We hope you find this information helpful! You can also download a copy of our free workshop for improving your credit by clicking the link below.

Download “Get Your Credit Back on Track” free pdf presentation >>


Smart budgeting means smart spending and saving. There are lots of different methods, but the basics are easy to understand. When crafting your budget, start simply, by embracing the 50/20/30 Rule. This simple budget is a great starting point. It allocates your income into three categories. Each category needs to roughly maintain the percentages listed below, although there is certainly room for flexibility.

50/20/30 Rule

  • 50% of your monthly income should be set aside to pay for bills and essential items
  • 30% can be set aside for luxuries and non-essential expenses
  • 20% should be used to pay down debt and invest in savings

plan basics graphic

How to Set Up Your Budget

  • Add up your monthly bills and re-occurring expenses
  • Add up your monthly income, including any additional re-occurring money you receive
  • Subtract the difference to get an assessment of your current financial budget (How can you adjust it to fit the 50/20/20 Rule?)
  • Cut unnecessary expenses, set money aside for savings and limit expenditures
  • Track your budget each month and adjust accordingly

Why You Need a Budget

  • Allows you to have control over what you spend
  • Planning for the future (financial goals & savings)
  • Peace of mind, without the need to worry constantly about money
  • A more comfortable lifestyle

Budget Best Practices

  • Prioritize your needs vs. your wants
  • Pay yourself by putting money in savings first, before you spend it
  • Allocate a fun budget so that you can stick to your budget without feeling deprived
  • Live within your means
  • Stick to your budget

Budget Tips & Tricks

  • Brown-bag lunches at work vs. eating out
  • Potlucks and game nights
  • Frugal gift giving
  • Shop for online deals, discounts and coupons
  • Bike or carpool to work
  • Cut back on your vices — they’re expensive and bad for you!
  • Grow your own food with a garden
  • Get rid of unnecessary expenses like expensive cable packages, extra vehicles you don’t need, expensive cell phone packages, updating to the latest devices
  • Refinance your mortgage if rates are lower than your current rate


Does the amount of debt you owe seem overwhelming at the moment? We have a few tips to help you get a handle on the situation.

Debt Tips

  • Make a list of all of your debt, including the interest charges
  • Pay down your most expensive debt first
  • Pay down credit cards, since maxed out capacity can hurt your credit score
  • Pay more than your minimum payments
  • Transfer high interest credit card balances to one low-interest card
  • Don’t create more debt

It’s never too late to improve your financial health!

Communication Federal Credit Union can help. We’ve mapped out 5 simple ways to kickstart your money fitness plan. It’s simple. Take our 5 day challenge and flex your money muscles!

moneyfit graphicDownload the Money Fit Challenge (pdf)

Take the 5 Day Challenge and share your success stories with us on social media with the hashtag #CFCUMoneyFit. Need extra help? One of our financial fitness coaches will be sure to contact you.