Credit Building Programs

Build Your Credit, Wisely

Good credit is something that pays off every day. With a high credit score and good credit history, you’ll enjoy better interest rates on loans and increased borrowing power. Although building credit takes time, Beach Municipal FCU offers several loan programs to help accelerate the process. 

Whether you want to build a credit history and establish a credit score, or you need to overcome financial struggles after falling behind, let Beach Municipal FCU help you find the right path.

Visit our online loan application

How does the Take Charge Secured Mastercard® work?

A secured card works just like a traditional credit card. The difference is that it requires a cash deposit, which determines the credit limit and acts as collateral for the card. 

For example, if you have $500 in your Savings Account, you can apply for a secured credit card with a $500 limit. We’ll place a “hold” on these funds for as long as the secured card is open. You won’t be able to access or spend the $500, but the money in your account will continue to earn dividends. Every month, your information will be reported to the credit bureaus. The better you manage your credit card spending and payments, the more your credit improves!

With time, as you show responsible credit card use, you will be eligible to apply for a traditional unsecured credit card, which does not require a security deposit.

Whether you have no credit or poor credit, you can take charge of your financial well-being and steer your credit in the right direction. Our Take Charge Secured Mastercard® can help you build the credit you’ve been wanting—regardless of your past credit history. It’s also the perfect way for young adults to establish credit for a strong financial future. 

Steer steadfast and build your credit wisely!

What about financial education for my teen?

We have several programs for teens! As part of the Pipeline for Teens, your teen will receive information on establishing credit, how to save for college, applying for scholarships, and more. They also have access to the Elements of Money website.

Visit Elements Of Money

Do you offer adult financial education?

In addition to the information on our website, we partner with several local programs to connect you with helpful resources.

Bank On Hampton Roads is a free 5-month financial literacy program that began in the Hampton Roads area in 2012. It combines classroom instruction with one-on-one coaching to help you become financially empowered and make sound financial decisions. 

Virginia Beach Public Library offers a Financial Literacy Kit for Older Adults includes a self-learning resource guide called Money Smarts for Older Adults. They also host a variety of seminars and programs that promote financial literacy and development.

What is a credit score and how is it calculated?

Credit scores are a way to measure your ability to manage debt and help the Credit Union assess the risk of you defaulting on the loan. Scores are calculated using information from your credit report. Your score is a 3-digit number ranging from 300 to 850 and corresponds with an A to E grading scale. When it comes to credit scores, higher is always better.

Credit scores are calculated using the following grading scale:*

  • Payment History — 35%. Your payment history has a huge impact on your credit score. Do you pay your bills on time, every time? Always make at least the minimum payment by the due date.
  • Capacity, or the Amounts owed — 30%. This is the amount of debt you're carrying. You have a credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you've used compared with the amount of credit you have available. High balances can impact your credit score, so you should try to you use less than 30 percent of your available credit.
  • Length of credit history — 15%. Your credit score takes into account the length of your credit history. Generally, a longer history is better, so it’s a good idea to keep open any accounts that you have had for a long time.
  • New credit — 10%. Lenders consider you a higher-risk borrower if you apply for or open several new credit accounts in a short period of time. This is because it appears as though you are in financial difficulty and are seeking to borrow money to cover your expenses. You should only apply for credit that you actually need. 
  • Types of credit — 10%. It’s important to have a mix of loan types, including installment (auto loans, mortgages) and revolving credit (credit cards, lines of credit). It shows lenders you can handle multiple payments at the same time.



Using your credit card responsibly will help you establish a good credit history.
  • Pay your bills on time, every time. A late payment becomes a bigger balance after interest and late fees are added.
  • It is always best to pay your credit card balance in full each month. If possible, pay more than the minimum payment. Many people prefer to make only the minimum payment on their debts because it is a smaller amount of money, but that will cost you more in the long run.
  • Don’t open credit cards you don’t need. Doing so will increase your fees, interest rates, and the likelihood of going into debt you may not be able to manage.
  • Don't be fooled by low introductory interest rates. To determine the true cost of each purchase, look at how much interest you will pay in six months.
  • Credit cards with lower limits can help you control your spending.
  • Don’t treat your credit card like a debit card; your credit limit is not the same as money in your Checking Account.
  • Don't use credit cards to buy things you can't afford. It's a slippery slope to debt and financial ruin.

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