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Start Building Credit6/29/2015

Building credit is a common concern for teens and young adults. You need a good credit history in order to get an auto loan or credit card, and sometimes even contractual items like phone plans. But how can you build credit if you can’t get a loan in the first place?

These SLFCU products can help you establish credit.


A Certificate Secured CreditLine uses the balance (minimum $1000) in a Term Certificate as collateral. SLFCU will hold those funds until the balance of the loan is paid in full, so there’s little risk to you. By borrowing and repaying the loan, you demonstrate fiscal responsibility. Here are some tips for saving $1,000 by age 18. 

  • No co-signer or credit history needed
  • The deposits continue to earn dividends higher than savings account dividends

An adult with at least $1,000 in a Certificate may agree to provide your collateral.


If you haven’t saved enough for a Certificate Secured CreditLine, a savings account with at least $500 may be used for a Savings Secured Loan. Again, there is little risk in mismanaging the loan since the credit union will hold those funds.

  • No co-signer or credit history needed
  • The funds continue to earn dividends

An adult with at least $500 in a savings account may agree to provide your collateral.


You can apply for an auto loan, credit card, or any SLFCU loan when you have an adult co-signer with good credit. Co-signers are held liable for your debt if you fail to make a payment.

  • Credit history only needed for the co-signer
  • Apply for any type of loan


A parent or adult with a credit card can add you as an authorized user, regardless of your credit history. This can be a good starting point for building a positive payment record and understanding how credit works.


In the options above, you must take funds from the loan or CreditLine and make on-time payments for at least six months. You can even set up automatic payments for extra assurance. This cycle of borrowing and repayment builds good credit.

And we’re here to help. If you have any questions about your situation, or you’d like to apply for a loan, apply online, call 505.293.0500 or 800.947.5328, or visit any branch.

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