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College age BECU members have different needs than is currently available.

As the parent of a freshman college student, I was disappointed to learn BECU's does not offer a visa option intended to support an 'emerging' credit holder.  I suggest BECU initiate a "college student starter card" to maintain the loyalty that may have started with the 'student account' begun with the 'first high school job'.  Otherwise, your loyal, but young and lacking a credit history, bankers will be forced to look at the big banks to estabolish their first credit experiences.

In my opinion, the perfect emerging credit holder card looks like:

   1) A maximum credit balance of less than $500 (for us, the ideal was $300)

   2) Not requiring a parent co-signer. Their learning needs to be autonomous from Mom & Dad.

   3) Reward timely payment history with diminishing interest rates over time.

   4) Post on-line and on paper statements, what a responsible credit holders behavior 'looks like'.

 

BECU does a good job educating the community with radio ads, why not take this to children of your loyal account holders, who opened student accounts for their kids and hoped to continue the credit union loyalty into the next generation.

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7 Comments
BECU Employee
Status changed to: Good news! We have this!

@vknutson- Thank you for sharing your detailed and insightful idea! We appreciate the props for our education efforts and are actively working on an overall student strategy so I've shared your insight with our Product area.

 

In the meantime, we do offer a student visa which typically has a lower limit and may or may not require a co-signer, dependant on if the student has any ability to repay (part-time job, etc). The student visa isn't widely promoted, but worth another ask to see what options your student may have. I do know they would require a student ID or course list. Cheers, KristinA 

Trailblazer

BECU has a secured credit card where you have to have the equivalent amount of money in your bank account as the amount of credit on the card. For example, my card had a credit of $500 and they froze $500 in my savings account so if I ever didn't pay they could take that money. It allowed me to build credit and I didn't need a cosigner. 

BECU Employee

@ajdonim- Thanks for sharing your personal experience with our secured credit card! We are so glad to hear it worked as intended to help you establish and build credit in a responsible way. Cheers, KristinA 

Sightseer

I had this in college and for years after. It was a great way to build up my credit score! I hope you have found this service via BECU by now.

 

I found this really handy later on because of the low limit, I felt safer using it for online purchases. Once someone had stolen the card number online, but only got one or two transactions in before hitting the limit! BECU was of course very generous about the entire ordeal, but the damage was limited because of used this student visa card. 

 

Is there any way to offer these to others who might want to use a low-limit card online? In addition to usual credit card offers?

Community Manager

Thanks for sharing your experience @Jhavener Each loan application is on an individualized basis so that's when alternatives are discussed like the Student or Secured Visa card. JohnS 

Sightseer

https://www.dfcufinancial.com/personal/cards/credit-cards/teen-and-student-visahttps://www.dfcufinancial.com/personal/cards/credit-cards/teen-and-student-visa    An example of a teen-visa.

 

We want to help a couple of teenagers.  They live in a society of credit (on-line purchses /uber rides).  They need to learn how to use credit.  They (who have very little at the moment) shouldn't waste money buying pre-paid cards.  They need to learn to use and pay-off a card monthly.   Handing them a Debit Card with full access to their college savings isn't a great idea either.

 

A TINY CREDIT LIMIT (to adults) of $200 would allow TEENS to use and learn about credit - and not totally bankrupt parents.

Community Manager

Thanks for adding to the conversation @kineticfamily! As @KristinA mentioned above, we do offer a student visa which typically has a lower limit and may or may not require a co-signer, dependant on if the student has any ability to repay (part-time job, etc). For more information, please don't hesitate visiting your local branch or giving us a call at 800-233-2328. Thanks! JohnS