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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
Suite 1
Germantown, MD 20874

Route 355 & Redland Road
15901 Frederick Road
Rockville, MD 20855

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.

Contact Information
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
Fax: 240.599.7567
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.

                   ed it
 si ng

                                     s an
                           t   c ard
      r gu

                  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
     can afford.
   • 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
savings account.

Credit reports
Credit reports show a record of all your debts,
and whether or not you pay them back on
time. Credit reports include four types
of information:

  1. Identifying information—your name,
     address, Social Security Number, and
     phone number
  2. Credit information—credit cards,
     loans, payment history, and late or
     skipped payments
  3. Public records—court judgments,
     unpaid taxes, foreclosures, and bankruptcies
  4. Inquiries—names of people and
     organizations who have obtained your
     credit report

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
credit bureaus.

Ordering your free annual
credit reports
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.

Phone: 877.322.8228
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

 Experian      866.200.6020

 TransUnion    800.916.8800

Credit cards
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
  than 18%.

                 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

  Cash advances
  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.

Grace periods
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.

Membership fees
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 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 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,, 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.

           Advantages                 Disadvantages

       •   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
           consumer                    insurance
           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
                                       have been
       •   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
                                       cost increases
                                       over time.

  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:

                        Financing     Financing
                        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 can improve
  your chances of getting the best deal by doing
  the following:

   • Improve your credit score – insurers
     may use your credit score to determine
     the premium.
   • 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.

GAP Insurance
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.

Helpful websites
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.

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