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Credit Builder Loans

Building good credit is very important. Your credit score affects your ability to get a loan, credit card or mortgage, and the interest rates you pay. It can even impact your ability to rent an apartment or get a job.

Tired of being held back because of your credit score? Cooperative Federal can help. We specialize in helping members to establish or re-establish good credit using debt consolidation, financial counseling, and a special tool called the Credit Builder Loan. 

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Join the Credit Builder Club

One of the tools that we use to quickly build credit is an inexpensive (fixed 3.95% APR*) Credit Builder installment loan. With a Credit Builder Loan, you may:

  • build a positive repayment history
  • "thicken" your credit report
  • establish or improve your credit score, and
  • qualify for better loan rates in the future.

Plus, at the end of the loan, you can walk away with a stash of savings -- cash that you can keep for emergencies or use for a down payment on a big purchase. 

How it Works

  1. You get a small loan, usually $300 to $2,000, at a low interest rate. Depending on your budget, you goals, and the amount you borrow, our credit specialists will come up with a repayment term that works for you -- usually 6 months to 3 years.
  2. Proceeds from the loan go straight into a separate, restricted savings account that is frozen until your loan is paid down. This means you don't actually use the loan money: the only purpose of the loan is to sit on your credit report, building a positive credit history.
  3. Each month, you make a loan payment to the credit union, and we report your acitivity to the credit bureaus.
  4. Once your loan is paid off, the money in your savings account is unfrozen. You now have a savings stash with the same amount of money as the original loan amount! It's a great way to create your rainy day fund, sock money away for car repairs, or save up for a down payment on a car, home, or appliance. 

It doesn't cost much to use a Credit Builder Loan. For example, borrowing $1,000 for a year costs you only $21.32 in total interest paid. We charge a small Loan Documentation fee of $12, which can be financed into the loan if desired. There are no prepayment penalties if you pay early, and no fee to apply for the loan.

Is a Credit Builder Loan Right for You?

A Credit Builder Loan may be just right for first-time borrowers, people who don't have a credit score, or individuals who have damaged credit. If you're getting ready to buy a home or seek a small business loan, a Credit Builder Loan can prepare you for success. Our credit specialists will look at your entire financial situation, discuss your goals, and help you evaluate whether a Credit Builder Loan would benefit you. 

Apply Now

Get started with your loan application. If you're already a member, you can apply for a personal loan online here or through Web Teller! Otherwise, you can download an application (pdf). Fill out this form and send it back by email, fax (315-476-0567), mail or delivery to any Coop Fed office. If you have any questions, call the Personal Loans Department.


*APR is Annual Percentage Rate. Subject to credit approval. Credit Builder Loans will only be made to members who have the income capacity to repay the loan.

All Credit Union loan programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for current rates, terms and conditions.