Using an Old Product with a New Twist
“What can we do for our children to help them begin building credit without having to get a credit card?”. This was the question that faced our team. The answer came from creating a special twist on an existing product with strong roots, and the development of what is now known as the Credit Kickstart Loan program. The program is designed to allow young adults, starting at the age of 18, to build credit through an extremely low-risk, low-interest loan program.
“We want people in Central New York to have an option for their teens and young adults that isn’t an aggressive credit card offer, or high-interest loan. Especially for those who are not ready to have a credit card quite yet,” states Marcie DeRito, Director of Consumer Lending, “Starting with a good credit history early on can mean a great deal in the long run.”
The program is structured like that of a traditional secured loan, but with a unique feature for young adults just starting college or their professional lives.
“When we considered lifestyles and financial needs of young adults in and from our communities, having an extra five hundred dollars just laying around wasn’t something many of them enjoyed,” says Aerik Radley, Director of Education Marketing, “We needed to make this program accessible to young adults, easy to understand, and really work to benefit them and set them up with an opportunity to build a good credit history early.”
Radley is referring to the program’s ability to lend the money securely, without requiring the borrower, in this case a young adult just starting out, to have to put the secured amount into savings before receiving funds. This program opens opportunity up to a much broader young adult community, including those who are risk-averse or find themselves struggling to find ways to begin building credit.
Chartered in May 1971, SECNY Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, full-service financial institution. Originally known as the School Employees of Central New York, our membership encompassed most school districts in Central New York along with several municipalities and industries.
Today, we Serve Everyone in Central New York and are open to any person living, working, worshiping, attending school, businesses and legal entities in Onondaga, Madison, Oswego and Cayuga counties.