MCT BRANCHES AND ATMS
Aspen Hill Clarksburg (ATM only)
Aspen Manor Shopping Center Highlands Shopping Center
13711 Georgia Avenue 23225 Stringtown Road
Silver Spring, MD 20906 Clarksburg, MD 20871
Cherry Hill Kensington (ATM only)
12500 Prosperity Drive Kensington Triangle
Silver Spring, MD 20904 Shopping Center
10821 Connecticut Avenue
Middlebrook Kensington, MD 20895
12850 Middlebrook Road
Germantown, MD 20874
Route 355 & Redland Road
15901 Frederick Road
Rockville, MD 20855
SURCHARGE-FREE ATM NETWORK
Surcharge-free means you will not be charged a fee by the institution that owns the ATM.
Visit other credit unions to conduct transactions on your MCT
account. Simply let the representative know you bank at MCT,
show your ID, and provide your account number.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1250, Rockville, MD 20849
Contact Center: 301.948.9880 • 800.497.6290 (out of area)
TTY Access: 301.948.9154
Web Bill Pay Customer Service: 888.918.7641
Report lost or stolen credit cards: 800.453.4270 (24 hours a day)
Check Reorders: 800.355.8123 (24 hours a day)
Money Talk: 240.599.7400
ABA/Routing Number: 2550-7788-8
We Do Business in Accor-
dance with the Federal Fair
Housing Law and the Equal
Credit Opportunity Act.
National Credit Union Administration,
Information is current as of January 2010 and a U.S. Government Agency—Member
is subject to change without notice. accounts are federally insured to at least
$250,000 and backed by the full faith and
credit of the United States Government.
t c ard
The information in this book-
let focuses on various aspects
of credit including how to ob-
tain it, how to manage it once
you have it, and how to avoid
common credit pitfalls. It is MCT’s
hope that this information will provide a solid
financial foundation for all of our members.
Credit is using someone else’s money to pay
for something, with the promise of paying them
back over a period of time. Credit includes two
elements: principal and interest.The principal
amount is the actual amount of money that you
borrow.The interest is an amount of money
that is charged for borrowing the money.
Why is good credit important?
Having good credit makes it
more likely that you will be
able to obtain a loan in the
future when you want to
make a purchase, such as a
car or a home.
How to create good credit
• Pay all your loans and bills on time,
every time. MCT makes this easy by
allowing you to set up automatic payment
transfers from your savings or checking
account at MCT, another financial
institution or directly from your payroll.
• Do not over-borrow. Borrow only
enough money that you know you
• Pay off credit cards in full each
month. If you cannot do this, you will
carry a balance. If you carry a balance,
the credit card company will charge you
interest on that balance, so you’ll pay
more than the minimum due.
• Do your research. Find no more than
two credit cards that meet your needs and
stick with them.
How to get credit?
With no credit history to help a financial
institution assess their risk in lending you
money, getting started in the world of credit
can be a challenge. One option is to
have someone with a positive
credit record co-sign an account
for you. This requires a great
deal of trust on the part of the
co-signer – if you fail to pay, he
or she is responsible.You could
end up jeopardizing a relationship as
well as a credit record.
Another way to establish credit is to open a
secured credit card. This card grants you with
a credit line based on a percentage of a cash
deposit you make to your financial institution’s
Credit reports show a record of all your debts,
and whether or not you pay them back on
time. Credit reports include four types
1. Identifying information—your name,
address, Social Security Number, and
2. Credit information—credit cards,
loans, payment history, and late or
3. Public records—court judgments,
unpaid taxes, foreclosures, and bankruptcies
4. Inquiries—names of people and
organizations who have obtained your
Monitoring your credit reports
It’s important to monitor your credit reports
from each of the three major credit reporting
agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)
to ensure that all of the information is correct
and that you have not been a victim of identity
theft. This is easy to do, because you’re entitled
to one free copy of your credit report
every year from each of the three
Ordering your free annual
If you request your credit report
online, you should be able to view it
immediately. Requests via telephone or mail
will take approximately 15 days for processing.
Mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Three major credit bureaus
You can also contact each of the three credit
reporting agencies individually to receive a
copy of your reports at any time. There is a fee
if you request more than one copy per year.
Equifax 800.685.1111 equifax.com
Experian 866.200.6020 experian.com
TransUnion 800.916.8800 transunion.com
Credit cards are great tools to help you build a
credit history. The trouble begins when credit
cards are misused. Never confuse a credit card
as “extra cash.” It is not a bonus for vacations
or money for emergencies (that is what savings
are for). Most importantly, it is not additional
income to get you through a shortfall until
the next month. Using it in that way may help
temporarily, but it will make the next month
more stressful when the same cash flow
problems arise—with more debt to pay.
The annual percentage rate (APR) is the rate
of interest you will pay on your borrowed
money.You should shop around for credit
cards with low APRs. Some bank credit cards
can be as high as 30%. At a credit union, there
is an 18% cap, which means 18% is the highest
rate a credit union can charge. At MCT, we
offer competitive rates and often for lower
Watch out for introductory
interest rates. Some credit
cards lure you in with low
introductory rates. However,
RE AD TH ! these rates usually only last
FIN E PRIN for six months. After six
months, your rate could jump
dramatically.There are many
other scenarios with credit
cards that could cause your interest rate
to skyrocket. So before you sign that credit card
application, read the fine print!
There are two types of interest rates:
• Fixed rate—this rate does not fluctuate
• Variable rate—this rate fluctuates and
is tied to other key economic indicators
such as prime rate
A cash advance is used to get cash from your
credit card rather than making a purchase.
Usually, interest starts accruing the day of
the cash advance. The interest rates for cash
advances are typically higher than the card’s
regular interest rate. Be aware of possible cash
advance fees in addition to the interest you will
pay. Fortunately, with an MCT Visa card
there are no cash advance
fees and you’ll enjoy
the same low rate on
purchases, cash advances,
and balance transfers.
A grace period is a window of time
where the financial institution that
issues your credit card will not
charge interest on new purchases. The
portion of your balance that is not paid
on the due date becomes “revolving” and
is subject to interest charges in the next
statement cycle. A grace period is different
from your due date. If you don’t make at least a
minimum payment by the due date, you will be
charged a late payment fee.
And remember, grace periods do not apply to
card advances since interest accrues from the
moment you take out the cash advance.
A membership fee is sometimes charged for
the “privilege” of having that credit card or for
special rewards, such as airline miles, dinners,
or merchandise. If you don’t use the rewards
or feel that the fee is not worth it, you should
get rid of that card or call and ask them to
waive the fee. There are no membership
fees associated with MCT Visa Cards.
Perks are extra features that come with some
credit cards. These perks can include frequent
flyer miles, cash back bonuses, points toward
merchandise, and car rental insurance. MCT
offers a Visa Platinum Rewards Card where
members earn one Scorecard point for every
dollar charged to the card.
Visit scorecardrewards.com to view available
merchandise and air travel rewards.
Develop a repayment strategy
If you find yourself with high credit card balances,
here are some tips on how to gain control:
• Pay more than the minimum. A $2,000
balance at 18% interest will take about
30 years to eliminate if you only pay the
typical minimum payment of two percent.
• Consider transferring your balances to
lower-rate cards. Unlike most financial
institutions, MCT does not charge a
balance transfer fee.
• Examine your statements to see which
accounts you are paying the most in
finance charges. Then, pay as much as
you can to that debt while paying the
minimum to the others. Once that
account is paid off, concentrate on the
next most expensive account.
• If you get a raise or a bonus, apply at least
some of it to your debt.
Credit card fraud is a major problem
today. It is vital that you take precautions
with your MCT credit card. Here are
some tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
• Always check the amount on the receipt
before signing it.
• View your Visa transactions regularly
through MCT’s Online Banking system. If
you need a user name and password, call
MCT at 301.948.9880.
• Sign up to receive MCT’s
“Approaching Credit Limit”
eAlert. This email will notify
you when your available credit
is less than 5% on your Visa
• Sign-up for Verified by Visa protec-
tion. This allows you to add a password to
your Visa card so only you can use it to
make purchases online. Sign up by visiting
visa.com/shopandactivate. When shopping
online, look for the lock icon on the
bottom of your screen, and make sure
the address of the web page begins with
• Report lost or stolen cards immediately
by calling 800.453.4270 (24 hours a day).
• Check statements thoroughly each month.
Report any mistakes immediately.
• Never give out your credit card number
over the phone unless you initiated the call.
Buying a vehicle
The first step to take before purchasing a
vehicle is to figure out how much you can
afford on a monthly payment. MCT’s website,
mctfcu.org, provides a handy calculator to
figure this out.You’ll also need to take into con-
sideration the cost of gas and auto insurance.
Once you have an approximate figure on how
much you can afford, then you need to decide
between buying a new or used auto. It is
important to be familiar with the pros and
cons of each option—see the chart on page 8.
Before you go shopping...
First, get approved for a loan at MCT by calling
301.948.9880. Knowing how much you have
been approved for before you visit an auto deal-
ership will allow you to negotiate a price to fit
your budget. MCT’s website also has information
about buying used cars from Enterprise and our
Motor Vehicle Certification Program (MVCP), a
program that could help you save money.
• You can order • New vehicles
the exact make, can be very
model, and expensive –
options that are with a high
important to you. purchase price,
• There are for full
protection laws coverage,
on your side. and costly
New • The car has value fees.
Auto and becomes an
asset as the loan is • The value of
repaid. the vehicle
• New vehicles are almost
typically more immediately.
reliable than used
• Most warranties
cover repairs and
• You may be able • Often, you
to use savings don’t know
to purchase the the vehicle’s
vehicle outright. history. It may
• Used vehicles are insufficiently
less expensive maintained, and
than new autos. therefore less
Used • As the loan is
Auto repaid, the vehicle • Rarely do used
becomes an asset. vehicles have
• Lower insurance
premiums. • Older vehicles
tend to wear
out – the
Beware of 0% financing
Zero percent financing sounds like an amazing
bargain – but it frequently comes with inflated
prices for extended warranties and loan insur-
ance, high application fees, and pre-payment
penalties. You may also be required to repay
the car in three years or less, resulting in a
very high monthly payment. Save money by
taking the dealer rebate and using it as a down
payment and finance your auto with MCT.
Consider the example below:
with MCT with dealer
Purchase price $20,000 $20,000
Down payment – $2,000 – $2,000
Manufacturer rebate – $2,000 – $0
Amount to finance = $16,000 = $18,000
Interest 5% interest dealer 0% loan
Loan period 60 months 36 months
Monthly payment $301 $500
Total cost $18,060 $18,000
While the 0% interest offer seems to make
sense, giving up the rebate and having a shorter
loan term yields a large monthly payment. And
in the long term, it only costs $60 more to
take the 5% loan over five years, with a much
more attractive monthly payment.
The 0% financing can be elusive. It is only of-
fered to those with very good credit, which is
determined by the lender. And, it is often not
available for the most popular cars and trucks.
Save on insurance
MCT provides auto insurance. Get a free rate
quote online at mctfcu.org.You can improve
your chances of getting the best deal by doing
• Improve your credit score – insurers
may use your credit score to determine
• Avoid tickets, particularly moving viola-
tions – attend traffic school if needed.
• Lower your coverage amounts and
increase your deductible. If you are a
careful driver with a good driving history,
it may be worth the risk.
• Avoid 4-wheel drive and high
performance vehicles, which often
carry higher premiums.
In the event that your vehicle is totaled or
stolen, GAP insurance will pay off the
remaining balance of your MCT loan that was
not covered by your insurance settlement. Plus,
you’ll receive $1,000 to use towards your next
MCT auto loan. When you finance a vehicle
with MCT, you can purchase GAP insurance for
a one-time fee of just $300. This could cost up
to $800 if you purchased it elsewhere.
MCT’s website has information on auto buying
resources, calculators, current rates, and more!
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
oversees the operation of credit bureaus and
provides assistance for identity theft victims.
This clutter free site provides identity theft
information and great advice on how to avoid
becoming a victim.
- 10 -