Will Paying Off My Car Loan Help My Credit Score?

Credit-Score-325x222There are a lot of different kinds of credit out there. One of the most common forms is the auto loan. Though we are all itching to pay off our long-term debts and own something free and clear, there are a few precautions to know about before racing to get that statement to read zero.

To determine if paying off your car loan will help your credit score, it is important to understand several factors that go into your credit score.

Multiple facets of FICO

First, it’s important to understand the components that make up your FICO credit score. There are five key elements that are used to makeup that all-important number:

  • 35% of your score is weighted toward your payment history
  • 30% is weighted toward the amounts owed on your credit cards
  • 15% is devoted to length of credit history
  • 10% is generated by new credit
  • 10% comes from types of credit used.

The relative importance of each category depends on the consumer themselves.

If you have an auto loan that you’ve been diligent about paying, you’ve benefitted from that 35% devoted to payment history. By paying it down, you are also contributing to that 30% element of amount owed, since theoretically you are decreasing your credit utilization rate. However, if you’ve been increasing the balance on other forms of credit, that may cancel out some of that good behavior.

If you have a 3 to 5 year car loan, you also have length of credit history going for you. The new credit category doesn’t really apply in this scenario.

Did you know First Financial’s Identity Theft Protection program not only protects you and your family members from ID Theft, but it also monitors its users’ credit reports? When you enroll in ID Theft Protection with First Financial, your credit report is monitored continuously for new or suspicious activity. If new activity occurs, an alert is sent via email and text message, allowing you to confirm whether or not the activity is fraudulent. To enroll in our ID Theft Protection services, stop into any First Financial branch or call 866.750.0100.*

Types of Credit

But what’s interesting is the 10% weighted to types of credit used. On a positive note, a car loan alters the types of credit you have, assuming you have things like credit cards or even a mortgage.  However, if you pay it off, you may eliminate this type of installment loan as a type of credit used (this is a very different type of credit than a credit card).

Your ability to pay installment accounts, in addition to others, demonstrates that you are responsible and diligent enough to plan your finances around all these different types of credit.

The Biggest Factor

Weighing against all this, however, is a large factor that requires you to look more holistically at your credit lifestyle. A general rule of thumb is that if you can pay off a debt of any kind, in full, do so (with the exception of a mortgage).

Need to get your credit score in check? Try First Financial’s First Score Program, a low cost, interactive session ($30) with a First Financial expert, which simulates your credit score with various “what if” scenarios. You can email us at firstscore@firstffcu.com or call 866.750.0100, Option 4 to get started.

If you have a great deal of debt, we also have a free, anonymous online debt management tool called Debt in Focus. In just minutes, you will receive a thorough analysis of your financial situation, including powerful tips by leading financial experts to help you control your debt, build a budget, and start living the life you want to live.

*Identity Theft insurance underwritten by subsidiaries or affiliates of Chartis Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. 

Article courtesy of Nerd Wallet Online

 

What to Do If Your Credit Score Is Too Low For a Mortgage

first-time-home-buyer-1If you’re preparing to buy a home, you probably know that your credit score is important. Maybe you’ve already been turned down for a mortgage because of a low credit score. Or maybe you’ve recently pulled your credit report, only to realize that your credit is worse than you expected.

Don’t give up on buying a home yet! There are plenty of places to turn if your credit is too low to get a conventional mortgage. But first, you should figure out what lenders expect of your credit score, since you might be surprised to find that you may be able to buy a home with your current credit score.

What do lenders expect?

Lending requirements vary from one lender to the next, but they’ve generally become more strict since the subprime mortgage lending crisis in 2008. As a rule of thumb, though, you’ll need a FICO score of about 650 to get a conventional mortgage – and that’s on the low end.

Remember, the lower your credit score, the higher your mortgage rate is likely to be. This can have a dramatic effect on how much you pay for your home over time. So if you’re sitting on the mid-to-low end of the credit spectrum, you may want to look into some of these options, even if you qualify for a conventional mortgage.

Put More Money Down

Mortgage lenders look at a host of factors when deciding whether or not to lend you money. One of those factors is your credit score. But another factor is your down payment.

With some lenders, you may be able to offset a weak credit score with a higher down payment. With a bigger down payment, you’ll have more equity in your home, which means the lender takes less of a risk when lending to you.

If you’ve got a substantial amount of money in savings, but still have a fairly low credit score, consider applying for a mortgage with a community credit union, like First Financial. Often, these smaller entities operate under more flexible lending guidelines, so you can talk to a loan officer about your situation and maybe get a favorable result.

To speak with First Financial’s lending department, call us at 866.750.0100 option 2, and to learn more about our mortgages – click here.

Work With a Homeownership Counselor

There are some local and national nonprofits that offer homeownership counseling.

Nonprofits like these offer counseling to future homebuyers who need help raising their credit scores or navigating the homebuying process. It may take some time, but with the help of a credit and housing counselor, you can learn which steps to take to raise your credit score and apply for a home loan.

First Financial offers a free Home Buying and Mortgage seminar every year; stay tuned for the 2014 seminar calendar to mark the date! To register for our upcoming free seminars, click on the purple “Attend” icon on the bottom our website. All of our staff is here to help you, if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to stop into any one of our branches and see us!

Get Your Credit Score Up

You could also simply take the time to bootstrap yourself into a better credit score. Raising your score isn’t complicated, but it does take time, discipline and hard work. These steps can help get your credit score up so that you can qualify for a mortgage.

  1. Correct any errors on your report, especially late payments or collections accounts that aren’t recorded properly.
  2. Make all your payments on time. Late payments are the # 1 way to ding your credit score.
  3. Pay down revolving debt like credit cards. A high debt-to-credit ratio is another surefire way to lower your score.
  4. Wait it out. As long as you’re paying down debt and making payments on time, your credit score will eventually rise on its own.

Don’t forget to utilize all of our free online financial calculators located here and to improve your credit score, and try our low-cost, credit counseling service, First Score! For just $30 you receive a one-on-one interactive session with a First Financial expert, which simulates your credit score with various “what if” scenarios.

Once you get your credit score, First Score will tell you what you need to do to reach all of your financial goals. First Score will also tell you what actions will help you increase and decrease your credit score.

Ready to try First Score? You can email us at firstscore@firstffcu.com or call 866.750.0100, Option 2.

*Click here to view the article source by Abby Hayes of US News. 

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9 Things Consumers Don’t Understand About Credit Scores

creditscoreThree numbers can affect everything from securing a mortgage or loan, to how much interest you’ll pay when you’re approved for a house. And while they’re just three numbers – that typically range from 300 (very bad) to 850 (excellent) – there’s a lot of information and regulations behind them. But don’t worry, if a thing or two about your credit score has left you scratching your head, you’re not alone.

“Consumers look at their credit report and think, ‘I don’t understand it. I don’t know what it means,'” says Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education for credit.com and host of Talk Credit Radio.

To clear up the confusion, several credit experts spoke at FinCon, a financial conference in St. Louis recently, and debunked misconceptions about credit scores. Here are 10 common things consumers tend to get wrong about their scores.

1. The credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax evaluate my credit score. The three bureaus generate credit reports, but they have nothing to do with judging your credit score or advising lenders whether to approve or deny an application. “The credit report does not rate your credit,” says Maxine Sweet, Experian’s vice president of public education. “It simply lays out the facts of your history.” So who determines what your credit score means? Companies such as FICO and VantageScore Solutions evaluate your credit risk level – what lenders use to decide how risky it is to give you a loan – based on your credit report. Separate scoring models have been developed to help businesses predict if a consumer will make payments as agreed, and the credit score is just one factor used in the model.

2. There’s only one type of credit score. There are actually many different scores. For example, FICO has several models with varying score ranges. “If you get your FICO score from one lender, that very likely won’t be the same score that you would get from another lender, even though they’re using the FICO model,” Sweet says. Consumers shouldn’t focus on the number, she adds. Instead, look at where your score falls on the risk model and what influences that risk. If a lender declines your application or charges you a higher fee because of your risk, it will disclose factors that are negatively impacting your risk, Sweet explains. “Those factors will tell you what behavior you will need to change to change your credit history,” she says.

3. When I close a credit card, the age of the card is no longer factored into my credit score. The only way you lose the benefit of a card’s age is if a bureau removes the account from a credit report, says John Ulzheimer, credit expert at CreditSesame.com. “As long as it’s still on a credit report, the credit scoring system still sees it, still sees how old it is and still considers the age in the scoring metric,” he says. Take Ulzheimer’s father as an example: He uses a Sears credit card he opened in 1976, which is the oldest account on his credit report. “The assumption is if he were to close that card, he would lose that decades-long history of that card and potentially lower his score. That’s not true,” Ulzheimer says. However, there is one caveat: The score would be lost after 10 years (see # 4 below).

4. A credit card stops aging the day I close it. Even when you close an account, the credit card still ages. For instance, if you close an American Express card today, the card will be one year older a year from now. And as explained above, you won’t lose the value of the card’s age. “Not only does it still count in your score, but it continues to age,” Ulzheimer says. However, a closed account will not remain on your credit report forever. The credit bureaus delete them from credit reports after 10 years, according to Sweet. There’s just one exception: “If the account is in a negative status, it will be deleted at seven years because we can only report negative account history for seven years,” she says.

5. I need to carry debt to build credit. To debunk this, Detweiler points to her friend who went through a divorce and lost his home in the process. He wanted to rebuild his credit so he got a secured credit card with a $500 limit. According to Detweiler, he only made the minimum payments because he thought it was good for his credit score to have debt. In reality, he hurt his credit by maxing out the card and carrying debt. As Detweiler says, her friend made a big mistake. “You can pay your balances in full and still build good credit,” she says.

6. Medical debt is treated differently on credit reports. Credit bureaus do not discriminate when it comes to medical payments. Typically, medical bills are not reported to a bureau unless the bills are sent to a collections agency. When that happens, “medical collections are the same as any other collections,” Detweiler says. “They are a serious negative. The more recent they are, the more it affects your score.”

7. A credit repair company can only remove inaccuracies to improve my score. While it’s true credit repair companies help you get inaccurate information corrected on your credit report, they can sometimes go one step further. “The real core competency of a credit repair company is to get stuff that’s negative removed from your credit report,” Ulzheimer says.

8. My utilization rate doesn’t matter. Utilization is an important measurement in the credit scoring system. “It can wildly change your score in a short period of time in either direction,” Ulzheimer says. He explains it as the percentage of the credit cards you’re using at any given time. To calculate your utilization percentage, divide your credit card balances by your total credit card limits and multiply by 100. “The higher that percentage, the fewer points you’re going to earn in that particular category, depending on the scoring system,” Ulzheimer says. “The lower the percentage, the better it will be for your score.” The credit score tracking website CreditKarma.com recommends that consumers shouldn’t exceed 30 percent.

9. I should avoid new store credit cards because they’ll hurt my score. You’ve likely been asked at checkout: “Would you like to open a store credit card and receive 20 percent off your purchase today?” For some consumers, it’s a good idea to say yes. “That’s a great way for many people who might not qualify for other kinds of cards to get a credit card,” Sweet says. A store credit card can help raise your credit limit, improve your utilization rate and boost your overall score. Of course, you shouldn’t sign up if you’ll be tempted to use the card every day, Sweet says, “but don’t just automatically assume it’s a bad thing before you open that account.”

Don’t forget about First Financial’s free, online debt management tool, Debt in Focus. In just minutes, you will receive a thorough analysis of your financial situation, including powerful tips by leading financial experts to help you control your debt, build a budget, and start living the life you want to live!

We also have our First Score Credit Counseling program; a low cost, interactive session ($30) with a First Financial expert, which simulates your credit score with various “what if” scenarios. You can email us at firstscore@firstffcu.com or call 866.750.0100, Option 2 to get started.

*Written by Stephanie Steinburg of US News, click here to view the article source.

3 Ways to Build Your Credit Score – Without Using Credit Cards

credit scoreYou’ve probably heard over and over that it’s important to have a credit card or two and to use them responsibly if you want a high credit score. No doubt you’ve also been told that making monthly, on-time payments on your mortgage and car are other ways to keep your credit score healthy. All true.

Your credit score — for young adults perhaps just joining the credit conversation — is the number credit bureaus offer up as a symbol of your ability to repay a loan. Generally, the credit score number everyone is concerned with is the FICO credit score, which ranges from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the more likely lenders will allow you to borrow money, and the better the rate you’ll qualify for.

But what if you would like to see your credit score climb — but you’re not crazy about having a credit card? What if you live in an apartment and aren’t making mortgage payments? What if you live in the city and take the subway? What then? Here are some somewhat under-the-radar ways to build credit for those who prefer the road less traveled.

1. Use Your Rent Payments to Build Credit.

For most of credit and rental history, on-time rent payments haven’t officially counted as a sign of someone who is responsible with money. Things are slowly changing, however. Since 2011, Experian has included rent payments in consumers’ credit histories. But it isn’t automatic. If you want your rent payments to be included, you need to be proactive and opt in.

There are a number of websites that will send rental-payment information to the credit bureaus. Consumers who visit WilliamPaid.com can register and pay their rent through the site, and it’ll be reported to Experian (it’s free if you opt for electronic withdrawal; if you pay with a credit or debit card, it’s 2.95% of the total payment; if you pay in cash, a $10 flat fee).

2. Get a CD Secured Loan.

CD secured loans are typically extended by credit unions, precisely to help members build or rebuild credit reports and credit scores. Some community banks also offer them.

“The loan is approved for some small amount, normally not much more than $1,000,” says John Ulzheimer of CreditSesame.com. “But instead of the consumer getting that $1,000 like they would with a normal loan, the money is placed into an interest-bearing account with the credit union. The consumer makes payments monthly, and after a year or two, the loan is paid off, and the funds, plus dividends, are released to the consumer.”

Ulzheimer adds that because the loan was an extension of credit, the credit union can report the loan to the credit bureaus. “Everyone wins,” he says. “The consumer gets the benefit of the account on their credit reports, plus the loan proceeds with dividends.”

At First Financial we know how your credit score can affect your ability to get a good rate or even approval for a loan. Do you know how you can improve your credit score? Our First Score Program is a low cost, interactive session ($30) with a First Financial expert, which simulates your credit score with various “what if” scenarios. Once you get your credit score, First Score will tell you what you need to do to reach all of your financial goals. First Score will also tell you what actions will help you increase and decrease your credit score. 

3. Self-Report.

“Credit reports only track money you’ve borrowed,” says James Miller, owner of Biltmore Wealth Advisors, LLC. That’s why credit reports don’t include information on whether you’ve been paying your utility bill and monthly rent on time, he adds.

Miller suggests consumers check out Payment Reporting Builds Credit, a national company that has been around since 2002 and allows consumers to sign up for free and self-report payments like rent, rent-to-own purchases and utilities like your water or electric bill.

“PRBC might not yet have the clout of the big three credit bureaus, but a solid report from PRBC might be enough to get your foot in the door with a lender,” Miller says. The PRBC site is free to use, but not all self-reporting third parties are free.

Keep in mind that none of these strategies will work if you don’t pay your bills on time. In fact, you could make things worse by self-reporting if the information being reported shows you’re always late with bills. But if you are paying without trouble, and you simply don’t own a house or credit cards and aren’t making payments on car or student loans, then getting lenders to see that you’re consistently paying bills on time may just lead to a higher credit score — eventually.

“The quickest way to build up a favorable credit score is to borrow and pay back the debt on time. There really is no way around that,” Miller says.

“It isn’t necessarily hard — it just takes discipline,” says Hitha Prabhakar, a retail and consumer analyst based in New York City and a spokesperson for Mint.com, a free and well-known money management website.

Having a well-paying job also helps. A good relationship with your bank or financial institution is another plus, Prabhakar adds. But above all, a long credit history without a lot of black marks is what will really make all the difference.

Click here to view the article source, from Dailyfinance.com.

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7 “Not So Smart” Credit Tips

dunceThere’s a lot of advice floating around out there about how to manage your credit cards and other debts to maximize your credit score. The trouble is, not all this wisdom is created equal, and some tips intended to help your credit can actually have the opposite effect. Here are seven “not so smart” tips that you should steer away from.

1. Asking for a lower credit limit.

If you can’t control your spending, asking for a lower credit limit may indeed keep you out of trouble by simply capping how much you can borrow. But there’s also a risk to this approach. As MyFICO.com explains, 30% of your credit score is based on how much you owe. The formula looks at how much you owe as a percentage of how much available credit you have, otherwise known as your credit utilization ratio. So if you’re unable to pay off your debt, lowering your credit limit will increase your ratio — and damage your score. The impulse to impose external limits on your spending is understandable, and in some cases wise, but you’re better off focusing your energy on restraint.

2. Paying off an installment account early.

Paying off debt early might seem like a good way to improve your credit, but paying off an installment loan (like a car loan), too early can actually ding your score because it raises your utilization ratio. For instance, if you have a $10,000 car loan with a $5,000 balance that you pay off in one fell swoop, your debt load will drop by $5,000, but your available credit will drop by $10,000 once the account is closed.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t pay off a debt early if you find yourself with a windfall on your hands. An earlier payoff can save you a bundle, but if you’re trying to raise your credit score – paying off a credit card sooner rather than an installment loan is the way to go.

3. Opening a bunch of cards at once.

Since your utilization ratio is so important, a lot of people think that getting as much available credit as possible — immediately — will do the trick. But it doesn’t work like this, unfortunately. “You can’t magically improve your utilization ratio by applying for a slew of cards in rapid succession because numerous inquiries and multiple brand new cards both can lower your score,” says Barry Paperno, credit expert at Credit.com. If you want more credit to improve your score, space out the process and be realistic about your situation; don’t take the hit to your score by applying for a card you know you probably won’t qualify for. (Financial institutions that aggregate credit card offers generally spell out what kind of credit score you need to obtain a particular card).

4. Settling a debt for less than you owe.

Negotiating with a lender and then settling the debt for less than you owe can be a smart move. But it can also hurt your credit if you do it the wrong way. You must get the lender or collections company to agree in writing to report the debt as “paid in full;” otherwise, it will be noted “settled for less than the balance.”

5. Using prepaid debit cards to rebuild your credit.

John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com, says a lot of borrowers have the misconception that prepaid debit cards and credit cards are equally good credit building tools. They’re not. Prepaid cards “don’t do anything to help build or rebuild your credit and are not a viable long-term plastic solution,” he says. Although some prepaid card issuers say they help build credit, none currently report to the three major credit bureaus.

Businessman's hand holding blue credit cards 03. Isolated on whi6. Never using your credit cards.

Some people approach credit like a poker game, with the mentality that you can’t lose money if you don’t play your cards. Although it’s always advisable to pay off your bill in full every month, not using credit cards at all can actually backfire when it comes to your credit score. If an issuer looks at your account and sees that there hasn’t been any activity for a while (how long varies, but more than a year is a good rule of thumb), they might close it. Losing that credit line hurts your utilization ratio, which can hurt your credit score. Try to  charge a small amount regularly — maybe a recurring bill like a gym membership or airline tickets for your annual summer vacation — and paying it off every month.

7. Checking your credit daily. 

Checking your credit score every day won’t hurt your score (when you request your score, it’s called a “soft pull,” which is different from the “hard pull” lenders conduct that does affect your score). But trying to parse why you gained or lost two points here or there will just give you heartburn and won’t give you any greater insight into how your score is calculated. Lenders generally report to credit bureaus every 30 days, so checking your score every day takes the focus off what really matters: how your longer-term financial habits affect your credit file.

Credit score not where you want it to be? Try First Financial’s First Score Program, a low cost interactive session ($30) with a financial expert – which simulates your credit score using various scenarios. First Financial also hosts free credit management and debt reduction seminars throughout the year, so be sure to check our online event calendar or subscribe to receive upcoming seminar alerts on your mobile phone by texting FFSeminar to 69302.*

Article Source: http://business.time.com/2013/05/06/7-smart-credit-tips-that-arent/#ixzz2SzgoxXjx 

*Standard text messaging and data rates may apply.

6 Smart Moves to Boost Your Credit Score

If you think your credit score doesn’t matter too much to you because you’re not planning Profiton getting a mortgage or applying for a credit card anytime soon, think again. Credit scores affect more aspects of our lives than you may realize and that’s why it’s important to keep your score as high as possible.

Paying your bills on time and staying well below your credit limits are the best ways to build and maintain good credit. Together they account for more than half of your overall credit score.

A healthy payment history is the biggest contributor to your credit score, accounting for 35 percent of the total. Miss even a single deadline, and you could see your credit score drop as much as 100 points or more. To avoid those dreaded “overdue” notices and the credit blemishes they bring, set up automatic payments for any regular bills so that your lenders get the check on time, every single time.

Another 30 percent of your credit score is based on the amount of debt you carry, as measured against the amount of available credit you have — otherwise known as your credit utilization ratio. It’s a good idea to keep your outstanding balances to less than 25 percent of the money available to you to spend. If you are not able to pay down your balances ASAP, you can go at the problem from a different angle by calling your lenders and asking them to raise your credit limit.

1. Fix clerical errors.
Check your credit reports and correct errors. Of course, you want to make sure that everything is being accurately reported, from your current address to your closed accounts. (For more guidance on how to dispute an error on your credit report, look to this guide from the Federal Trade Commission.)But you also want to check the details about what is being reported about your current accounts. For example, it can make a big difference to your score if your credit limit for a card is understated. Imagine that you owe $5,000 and your limit is $15,000. That means you owe 33 percent of your limit. If your credit limit is incorrectly listed as $8,000, though, it will look like you’ve borrowed 63 percent of your limit.
2. Get credit where it’s due.
When you fix errors or take actions that should boost your score, make sure that all three of the main credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) know about it. By law, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of them once a year — do so, in order to spot errors and find other score-boosting opportunities.
3. Ask nicely for a favor.
One thing few people think of is simply asking for what you want. In order to help you pay down your debt more quickly, you might ask your lender to lower your interest rate. If the lender refuses, see if you can find a lower-rate card and transfer your balance.
Did you know that you can transfer your balances (with no balance transfer fees) to First Financial’s low rate VISA Platinum Credit Card and earn rewards at the same time?*  Click here to learn more and apply today.If you’ve got one or two glaring late payments on your credit record, you might ask your lender if they could be erased, in what’s called a “goodwill deletion.” And if you’re dealing with a collections agency over some debt, see whether they’ll delete it from your record if you pay it off. That can be well worth it.
4. Don’t delete your history.
If you’re planning on closing some of your accounts, think twice. It’s often a sensible thing to do to simplify your financial life, but closing an account can actually ding your credit score. One reason is that it actually reduces your available credit. Oddly enough, a host of seemingly sensible moves can hurt you — such as using just one card for most of your charges. Even if you prefer using a newer card, keep older accounts open and use them occasionally to keep them active. Over time, that will give you a longer history and help improve that part of the credit score calculation.
5. Don’t rush to build your record.
Opening multiple accounts in a short period of time may boost your available credit, but it sends the wrong message to potential creditors, as it makes you look desperate to get credit from any available source.
6. Prevent bad marks from being added to your report.
Here’s a valuable tip for anyone selling a home for less than they owe on it: What you’re looking at is called a short sale, and if you end up owing many thousands of dollars to your mortgage lender, you might want to get it in writing before the sale closes that the debt won’t go on your record. Ending up with a big balance owed can be a black mark on your record, reportedly as costly as a foreclosure.If a high credit score is important to you — and for most of us it should be — always consider how your financial actions will affect your score. For more information on credit scores, be sure to look at this guide from myFICO.com, which is the consumer division of the company that is responsible for the popular FICO credit score.
If you still have questions or concerns about your credit score, make an appointment with a financial expert by scheduling a First Score Session with First Financial. First Score is a low cost, interactive session which simulates your credit score with various scenarios.
And if you’d anonymously like to get your debt in check – try our free, online Debt in Focus Tool!
*APR varies from 7.90% to 17.99% when you open your account based on your credit worthiness. This APR is for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Subject to credit approval. No Annual Fee. Other fees that apply: Cash advance fee of 1% of advance ($5 minimum and $25 maximum), Late Payment Fee of up to $25, Foreign Transaction Fee of 1% plus foreign exchange rate of transaction amount, $5 Card Replacement Fee, and Returned Payment Fee of up to $25. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a VISA Platinum Card and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties.Article Source: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/08/how-to-boost-your-credit-score/#slide=5793242