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How to Build Credit in the U.S.

New to the U.S.? Let us help you establish more than a credit history!

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Start Building your U.S. Credit History with Us


At BFSFCU, we’re committed to providing financial solutions for people new to the U.S., including G4 Visa holders. Establishing a credit history in the U.S. is an important first step and we are here to help.


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When it comes to your finances, “credit” is your ability to borrow money, goods or services that
you’ll pay for later.

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Credit History

Your “credit history” is your record of current and previous loans or lines of credit you have received, including credit cards. Your credit history will be used by future lenders when deciding what rate and term they will offer you.


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Credit Bureau

In the U.S., there are three major organizations – called “credit bureaus” – that credit unions and banks rely on to determine an individual’s credit score. They are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

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Credit Bureaus use a system of “credit scores”
– a number between 300 and 850 – that indicates how likely you are to pay back a loan on time. The higher your score is, the more favorable the terms of your loan or line of credit may be.



Building Credit is Easy with a BLUEPRINT Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

A BFSFCU credit card is an ideal first step on your journey to establish credit in the U.S. By using your BFSFCU credit card for purchases and making your payments on time, credit bureaus will use the payment history to determine your credit score. That credit score will be essential in the future if you wish to purchase a home, a new vehicle, or borrow money for other uses.

With our BLUEPRINT Card, you simply secure a minimum $500 credit limit with funds in your BFSFCU Savings account and use it like a regular credit card. Every on-time payment helps build your credit history.

  • Low interest rate of 3.90% APR* for 6 billing cycles
  • NO annual fee
  • NO balance transfer fees
  • NO cash advance fee
  • NO foreign exchange fee
  • Contactless payment

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Additional credit card benefits:

  • Use it for purchases instead of cash
  • It is often required for certain kinds of purchases, such as cell phone contracts, car rentals, and more


Establishing a credit history in the U.S. and building a good credit score are essential to getting a mortgage for purchasing a home, securing an auto loan, getting credit cards, and more.


As a full-service financial cooperative established to meet the needs of employees of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund and their families, we understand the unique challenges of new arrivals to the U.S., and we offer the products and services that can help you build credit.


Be Smart About Your Credit: The Top 5 Tips

Keep these useful tips in mind to help make sure you’re making smart decisions on your journey to building credit.

  1. Always make payments on time. Even one late payment can affect your credit score. Make payments online from your BFSFCU account, set up reminders, and make automatic payments whenever possible.
  2. Don’t overspend. Only purchase something on credit if you know you can afford it.
  3. Make at least the minimum payment each month. If you can’t pay your full credit card balance each month, try to pay more than the minimum to reduce the interest you’ll be paying.
  4. Use a line of credit when appropriate. A line of credit is ideal for larger expenses such as home renovations, tuition costs and more. A line of credit will typically have a lower interest rate than a credit card.
  5. Always check your monthly statements. Compare your receipts with your monthly statements to make sure there are no unexpected charges. Be on the lookout for fraud.