A survey of credit cards recommended for recent high school and college graduates by CardHub.com in a Bottom Line column last week didn’t mention any credit unions. For a home-equity line of credit or a car loan, a credit union would be TBL’s first stop.
Mary Budnick, a vice president at Achieve Financial headquarters in Berlin, says a credit union is also a low-cost provider of the secured credit cards that CardHub.com CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou likes for young people.
“We invest a great deal of time and energy educating our members about this tremendous benefit,” she says, “which not only helps young borrowers but also serves the markets of unbanked an underr-banked adults.”
A security deposit represents a secured card’s credit line, making it a safe alternative to a standard credit card. Card holders who fail to pay the monthly balance essentially pay interest on their own money. It’s a powerful incentive.
Each of the secured cards recommended by CardHub.com, a credit-card comparison site, had an annual fee.
Achieve Financial, among other credit unions, offers secured cards with no annual fees. (The current interest rate on a secured card at Achieve Financial is 9.9 percent.) The credit union does charge $35 penalty fees for a late payment or a returned payment.