Smart Start Youth Credit Program

Your Child could graduate from High School With An 850 Credit Score

From Luke Labbe, PCU president:

Michelle Levigne and Her two sons Drew and Derek of Biddeford smiling in a kitchenLuke Labbe, President of PeoplesChoice Credit Union, in Caricature

A few weeks ago, I was in line at our Saco branch, behind a mother and her teenage daughter. They wanted to open a checking account so the 16 year old could get a debit card to order books for college classes. I spoke with them about options and emphasized that 16 may be the perfect age to consider building credit with PeoplesChoice VISA and a credit builder loan. The daughter really liked that idea and I continued to share the story of our staff member,  Michelle Lavigne (pictured) who helped her teenage boys get credit and by the age of 18, each had a perfect credit score which allowed for low cost auto insurance without a co-signer (a true win/win). Yes, insurance companies charge different rates based on credit like so many other businesses. Being able to work with a teenager while under the same roof is great financial planning while getting them ready for adult hood.

I am working with my brother to do the same thing with his triplets. Open a $500 to $1000 credit card and ironically, they do not even have to use it to build credit. Parents will need to co-sign and then plan to make the $25 monthly minimum payment automatically from an account so the card will always report on time payments. In addition, our new Smart Start Credit Program has the option of a $500 to $1000 credit builder loan that is a perfectly safe and controllable way to develop installment credit and revolving credit needed to acquire those higher credit score tiers.

I encourage all Southern Mainers to have this conversation with families. Quite frankly, not many parents have this discussion in the teenage years. And with a little planning, they can start out their young students with perfect credit. Teens love the independence and the status of having credit and as parents, you can enjoy lower rates and fees from the various utilities that come along with the transition to maturity. Good credit is a key part of adulthood and partnering with a solid credit union, like PeoplesChoice, you can pave a safe road to establish a great credit profile for your kids.


Smart Start Youth Credit Program Logo, sunburst behind logo

How Does it Work?

1. Become a Member 

Visit a branch, Minors must apply in person. Call ahead to setup a time to speak with a branch manager or appropriate staff member. 

2. Apply for a Visa 

with a parent or legal guardian

3. Apply for a Credit Builder Loan 

4. Make all Payments on Time

5. You will have great credit