NORTH HIGHLANDS, Calif. (1/3/08)--A credit union CEO was featured in a Tuesday Sacramento Bee article about financial resolutions. The article encouraged readers to “get into financial shape,” noting a number of ways that consumers can improve their finances and save money. The article also featured advice from Henry Wirz, president/CEO of SAFE CU in North Highlands. Wirz suggested several ways that consumers can boost their credit scores, such as: signing up for payroll direct deposits and then setting aside a fixed amount for savings. “Doing this, I saved for the down payment on my first home,” he told the newspaper. Converting to online payments can help members avoid late fees and save money on postage, Wirz said. He also suggested that consumers ladder certificates of deposit, and stagger maturity dates so they don’t roll over at the same time. Check credit unions’ interest rates, and buy certificates in April or October, when many credit unions offer special rates or discounts. “There’s usually a generous spread between six-month CDs and longer-held CDs that can offer better rates,” he wrote. Reviewing credit reports annually and cancelling unused credit cards will help to raise FICO scores, Wirz added. For readers looking to purchase a car, he suggested they study car prices and then check loan rates at their credit unions.