NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Nusenda Credit Union is hosting a variety of educational programs to celebrate Financial Literacy Month this April. The credit union is offering webinars, seminars, school programs, and online tips to empower New Mexica ns with financial knowledge.

Vice President of Consumer Lending Esther Mata-Rearick visited KRQE News 13 this morning to cover the “typically-scary” topic of credit scores. Mata-Rearick helps simplify the definition of credit scores, saying, “A credit score is a three-digit number that impacts your financial well-being.”

Credit scores are a way to share a snapshot of someone’s financial history and tendencies. They are used to inform lenders and/or landlords of a person’s potential financial reliability. Credit scores are extremely important as they can impact one’s ability to secure loans and make large purchases.

Credit unions, like Nusenda, report the payment history of their customers to credit organizations. Credit scores are then compiled by three main credit organizations: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Mata-Rearick explains that the most vital factors in having a “good” credit score are making credit card payments on time and avoiding being at the top of your credit limit every month. She says 30-40% credit card utilization typically looks the best for credit organizations.

“You might think you don’t need it, but if you’re going to travel, if you’re going to rent a car, if you’re going to buy a car, and, of course, the ultimate purchase of buying a home,” says Mata-Rearick. “You need credit, and the better you take care of it, the better rate you’re going to receive when you make these purchases.”

Nusenda Credit Union is a locally owned and operated credit union in New Mexico with over 250,000 members. They have locations in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Taos, Valencia County, Socorro, and Las Cruces.

To learn more about Nusenda Credit Union, visit their website here.