The Importance of Credit

You may not think about it now, but good credit is super important. Building good credit now (while you’re just starting out) can help you get a great deal on a loan when you’re shopping for a new or used car, or buying your first place.

The better your credit score, the more likely it will be for your banking institution to give you a low rate on a loan, (it’s called risk-based lending). They will feel more comfortable giving you a large loan (like $350,000 for a condo) if you have showed a good history of paying back smaller loans, like monthly credit card bills.

Good credit says to your bank “I am responsible with money.” Good credit says “I can purchase something more expensive since I am saving money by paying LOW interest.”

What this means is, you want good credit!

What you need to know for building good credit:

  • PAY ON TIME- payment history is 35% of your score.
  • Never use more than 50% of your available credit
  • Keep your old accounts- Accounts older than 2 year look GREAT on your report!
  • Limit opening new credit accounts frequently -Too many accounts opened for a short period of time look bad.
  • Have different types of credit- credit cards, a car loan, and a mortgage.

Learn about how credit scores are created in less than two minutes (video): Understanding Your Credit Report

Notes that Work

Get the most out of your classes by perfecting your note-taking skills. Whether you’re recording key lecture points or jotting down important facts from your textbook, it’s up to you to develop a method that works for you. When it is crunch-time for mid-terms and finals, you’ll be glad you did.

Get the most out of your classes by perfecting your note-taking skills. Whether you’re recording key lecture points or jotting down important facts from your textbook, it’s up to you to develop a method that works for you. When it is crunch-time for mid-terms and finals, you’ll be glad you did.
Here are some tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your notes.

Come to class prepared

To help keep your notes organized, it’s a good idea to have either a 3-ring binder or a notebook for each class. Using a binder allows you to easily add material like handouts, homework and returned tests. If you prefer, go paperless and use a laptop or tablet to take notes, just make sure you are charged up and ready for class. Also, consider keeping highlighters or Post-it® flags nearby to point out important concepts.

What to write down

  • Dates of events: Writing down dates will help you to create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened and understand the context of an event.
  • Names of people: Being able to link names with key ideas helps you to recall important concepts later.
  • Theories: Any statement of a theory should be recorded — theories are the main points of most classes.
  • Definitions: Any word that you are unfamiliar with should be looked up and notated.
  • Images and exercises: Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, or when an in-class exercise is performed, jot down a few words to record the experience.
  • Other stuff: If your instructor writes something down, says “this is important” or “you need to understand this,” be sure to note it in some way because you’ll likely see it again. Pay attention to other student’s comments, too — try to capture and summarize comments that add to your understanding.
  • Your own questions: Come to class with notations about concepts you do not understand so you can ask the professor later. Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they occur to you.

Note Taking Techniques

There are several different ways to take notes; however, there are a few tried and true principals that remain the core of good note taking techniques.

Outlining is an effective way to create a hierarchy of concepts and to take notations from books.
Mind Mapping may be a way to get the most out of class discussions or lectures. They are more fluid and do not follow a strict format. You can go back after the fact and organize the ideas in a more structured layout after you write down all the needed notes.


The Cornell Note system seems to be the new favorite way of taking notes. It is perfect for showing where to get more defined notes by reviewing key concepts and after you take your notes, you go back, review and come up with a summary.


No matter how you like to note your ideas in class, you should see that doing so will better you knowledge of the material to ensure you get the most of you classes. What is your favorite note taking techniques? Share in the comments blow.

  • “Taking Notes: 5 College Success Tips.” Jerzs Literacy Weblog. 29 Aug. 2012. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
  • “Note Taking/Outline Format.” – Wikibooks, Open Books for an Open World. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
  • “Mind Map Notes.” Mind Map Notes. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
  • “Cornell Notes.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.

Share Your Story and Win

If you financed your college education with Apple FCU’s Student Choice Loan Solution, Lend Your Voice!
Share your picture and a short, sincere story about the student loan process and how your college education has affected your life. Please include your response to the following:

  • How the credit union lending process helped shape your financing decisions
  • Your experience working with a credit union
  • How your education has helped improve your life or how it has helped you in your career.

Student Choice offers five chances to win big:

  • 1st place: $2,500
  • 2nd place: $2,000
  • 3rd place: $1,500
  • 4th place: $1,000
  • 5th place: $500

Plus, if your story is displayed on the Student Choice blog, you will automatically receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card.
Don’t delay, the submission deadline is November 30, 2015. View the complete details and get your story shared today!

14 Things I Wish I Knew Freshman Year

From preparing and packing up your dorm necessities to saying your goodbye to family and friends – getting ready for college is an exciting time.
Arriving on campus can be overwhelming. You may feel intimidated, scattered and unsure how to be your “best self” while there. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your freshman year.


  • Go to the library in between classes instead of heading back to the dorm. You’ll be surprised how much work you can get done during the day. Don’t forget your headphones.
  • Try to find you books in other places than the bookstore. You can save a lot of money asking upperclassmen or even checking websites like Amazon or
  • If an 8 a.m. class time will be tempting to skip, if possible, schedule yourself for a later one. Skipping class is a bad habit that you do not want to start.

Social Life

  • Have fun, but never lose sight of what you are there to do ? earn a degree.
  • Stay true to yourself and do not be afraid to say “no.”
  • Get involved with things that interest you. Join a club/group whether it be a Frat/Sorority, art club, singing group, quidditch team…it will be in your favor to meet people with similar interests and make new friends.
  • Always put your best foot forward. College is great place to perfect your time management skills, professionalism and work ethic before you hit the ‘real world’. Plus, the connections you make on campus could lead to a great job after graduation. Make sure the image you are conveying is a positive one to your professors and friends.

 Dorm Living

  • Buy earplugs.
  • Do your laundry and keep your dorm clean.
  • Take advantage of student discounts while shopping for food and other things.

 Staying Healthy

  • The “Freshman 15” is real and late night food can be a contributing factor. Manage your diet and wallet by using the dining hall. Have fruit and veggies on-hand for a quick pick-me-up during late night study sessions.
  • If you’re feeling sick, emotionally or physically, take advantage of the student health center and don’t be afraid to ask for help.


  • Your family misses you more than you think. It does not hurt to call them every once in a while.
  • Visit home whenever you can. It is good to get a break and a change the scenery.


Good luck to all of our incoming freshman! Here‘s to a fresh start and the beginning of a bright future.

Ganddini, Stefano. “21 College Tips I Wish I Knew Freshman Year. Especially #10.” Collegetopia. 24 Aug. 2013. Web. 14 Aug. 2015.