Personal Resources

USC Credit Union has proudly served the Trojan family since 1973.

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  • When is the best time to sell or buy a home?

    In buying or selling anything, timing is everything. The challenge is to know when to buy and when to sell, so that you use the timing of the purchase or sale to your advantage. The housing market is seasonal, as most homeowners and renters move during the summer months, from June through August, while school […]

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  • What is a mortgage?

    A mortgage is a loan that is used to buy a home. In return for the loan, you pay interest on the amount loaned. The lender also has first rights on your house in case you neglect to pay back the loan. A mortgage has three components: Amount (how many dollars you need to borrow) […]

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  • What is the difference between being ‘pre-qualified’ and ‘pre-approved’ for a loan?

    Pre-qualification is an informal way to see how much you may be able to borrow. You can be “pre-qualified” over the phone with no paperwork by telling a lender your income, your long-term debts, and how large a down payment you can afford. Without any obligation, this helps you arrive at a ballpark figure of […]

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  • How does a lender determine how much home I can afford?

    The primary factor is your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses. Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support. Many lenders believe you can afford a house if its price is under 2½ times your household’s annual […]

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  • Tell me more about credit scores and credit reports.

    A credit report is a report that brings together information about an individual’s credit history, such as your total outstanding debt and if you repaid your debt on time. A credit report contains information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. The three […]

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  • What can I do to improve my credit score?

    Pay all bills on time — Just one or two late payment(s) can adversely impact your score. Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving credit products. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Review your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and contact […]

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  • What is considered a good credit score?

    A credit score (ranging from 300 to 850) is the equivalent to a grade on your credit history report. Your credit score is used by lenders and credit card companies to determine the likelihood that you will repay your debt on time. The higher your credit score, the lower the assumed risk to lend you […]

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  • What does a low credit score mean?

    If your credit score is below desirable levels, your ability to get loans and credit at favorable rates will be diminished. Differences of up to 70 points across the three credit bureaus are not uncommon, and are typically the result of different information reported in your reports. Since each lender may use a different credit […]

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  • Under what circumstances can I check my credit report for free?

    You are entitled to a free credit report if: You believe you may be a victim of identity theft If you have been denied credit, employment, insurance or rental housing in the past 60 days due to your credit score If you receive welfare benefits, or If you are unemployed Click here to view a […]

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  • Can I get a credit report for free?

    Credit reports contain a wealth of information about your credit history. It’s important to review your credit report at least annually to ensure it is accurate and that you have not become a victim of identity fraud. As part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, consumers are entitled to receive one free […]

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