Tips on jobs, bankruptcy and scholarships

How to tell if your credit union is safe, remove a bankruptcy from your record and uncover 'unused scholarships.'

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By Gerri Willis, CNN

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For more information on managing your largest investment, check out Gerri Willis' "Home Rich," now in bookstores.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- CNN's Gerri Willis answers viewer's questions on credit unions, bankruptcy and unused scholarships.

1. How can we tell if a Credit Union is having financial problems?

It's not always easy to tell if your credit union is in trouble. But, to protect yourself, make sure the credit union you belong to is backed by the National Credit Union Association.

The NCUA has similar protections to the FDIC in that individual accounts are insured at $100,000 and below, joint accounts are insured at $200,000 and below and retirement accounts are insured at $250,000 and below.

Go to www.ncua.gov for more information.

2. How can a person that has worked in the mortgage industry as a sales person for 10 years approach the job market?

Keep in mind that people with good sales abilities are always needed.

You can easily translate your people skills into other industries.

Make sure you highlight your communication skills, leadership ability and accomplishments in your resume according to Careerbuilder.com.

A good way to network is through volunteer work. It also shows potential employers you're staying active.

And you may also consider going back to school - either at a local community college or online.

3. How does one go about requesting that a bankruptcy and foreclosure be removed from their credit report once seven years has passed?

First of all, you don't have to do anything.

Once you meet the statute of limitations, the blemish is removed automatically from your credit score says John Ulzheimer of Credit.com.

Now, after seven years a foreclosure is removed. But with a bankruptcy the rules are a bit more complicated.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy will be removed in 10 years. A chapter 13 bankruptcy will be removed seven years after the debt has been paid off.

And for most folks, it can take 3 years to get their debt discharged, so your bankruptcy could stay on your record for 10 years.

4. I just watched an interview with Gerri about unused scholarships. Please tell me how to find these 'unused scholarships.'

Here are some places to go to explore scholarship opportunities: fastweb.com, collegeboard.com and scholarships.com.

For wacky scholarships, check out finaid.org.

There's the scholarship for left handed people or scholarships for tall people.

There's even scholarships for students who knit wool garments or speak "Klingon." To top of page

Gerri's Mailbox: Got questions about your money? We want to hear them! Send e-mails to toptips@cnn.com or click here - each week, we'll answer questions on CNN, Headline News and CNNMoney.com.
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