Financial Education


The Syracuse Fire Department Credit Union has partnered with Michael J. Fasulo, a financial consultant to assist you with your financial & insurance needs.  His services include life, disability, & long term care insurance planning as well as retirement planning, college funding and general investing.  Mike will be happy to meet with you at a time and location convenient to you (including the credit union office).

Michael J. Fasulo Jr.

Financial Consultant

AXA Advisors, LLC

120 Madison St. Suite 1900

Syracuse, NY 13202


315-425-6360 – fax

*Funds are not federally insured.  This service is not guaranteed by the credit union, and is no obligation of the credit union.  Investment risks including possible loss of principle.

The Syracuse Fire Department Credit Union has also partnered with a Daniel J. Hopkins, a financial planner to assist you with your financial needs including retirement and investing. Dan will be happy to meet with you at a time and location convenient to you (including the credit union office).

Daniel J. Hopkins

Registered Representative

AIG Advisor Group

Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.

4211 Middle Settlement Road

New Hartford, NY 13413



315-468-1154 – fax

*Funds are not federally insured.  This service is not guaranteed by the credit union, and is no obligation of the credit union.  Investment risks including possible loss of principle.


The Credit Union has several Certified Financial Counselors on staff to help you with your financial needs. Planning a budget, working around job loss, planning for your future, our counselors can help you with all of this and much more.

Maria Arriaga-Cain

Virginia Victory

Andrea LaGrow

Emily Coogan

All four staff members are available to meet with you at a time the is convenient for you!


What is Credit Scoring?

Credit scoring is a system creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit. Information about you and your credit experiences, such as your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts, is collected from your credit application and your credit report. Using a statistical program, creditors compare this information to the credit performance of consumers with similar profiles. A credit scoring system awards points for each factor that helps predict who is most likely to repay a debt. A total number of points — a credit score — helps predict how creditworthy you are, that is, how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments when due.

Because your credit report is an important part of many credit scoring systems, it is very important to make sure it’s accurate before you submit a credit application. An amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the major nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit reports, at your request, once every 12 months.

To order your free annual report from one or all national consumer reporting companies, visit, call toll-free 877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form ( (404 ERROR) and mail it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service

PO. Box 105281

Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

The form is at the back of this brochure; or you can print it from Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They provide free annual credit reports only through 877-322-8228,, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

For more information, see Your Access to Free Credit Reports at

What can I do to improve my score?

Credit scoring models are complex and often vary among creditors and for different types of credit. If one factor changes, your score may change — but improvement generally depends on how that factor relates to other factors considered by the model. Only the creditor can explain what might improve your score under the particular model used to evaluate your credit application.

Nevertheless, scoring models generally evaluate the following types of information in your credit report:

  • Have you paid your bills on time? Payment history typically is a significant factor. It is likely that your score will be affected negatively if you have paid bills late, had an account referred to collections, or declared bankruptcy, if that history is reflected on your credit report.
  • What is your outstanding debt? Many scoring models evaluate the amount of debt you have compared to your credit limits. If the amount you owe is close to your credit limit, that is likely to have a negative effect on your score.
  • How long is your credit history? Generally, models consider the length of your credit track record. An insufficient credit history may have an effect on your score, but that can be offset by other factors, such as timely payments and low balances.
  • Have you applied for new credit recently? Many scoring models consider whether you have applied for credit recently by looking at “inquiries” on your credit report when you apply for credit. If you have applied for too many new accounts recently, that may negatively affect your score. However, not all inquiries are counted. Inquiries by creditors who are monitoring your account or looking at credit reports to make “prescreened” credit offers are not counted.
  • How many and what types of credit accounts do you have? Although it is generally good to have established credit accounts, too many credit card accounts may have a negative effect on your score. In addition, many models consider the type of credit accounts you have. For example, under some scoring models, loans from finance companies may negatively affect your credit score.

Scoring models may be based on more than just information in your credit report. For example, the model may consider information from your credit application as well: your job or occupation, length of employment, or whether you own a home.

To improve your credit score under most models, concentrate on paying your bills on time, paying down outstanding balances, and not taking on new debt. It’s likely to take some time to improve your score significantly

Understanding Your Credit Report

Identity Theft: How To Avoid It

Watching for Credit Card Tricks