Altura Credit Union has launched a new tool designed to help members rebuild credit scores they saw drop dramatically during the Great Recession.
The $689 million credit union in Riverside, Calif., has created the Credit Builder Loan. Members, including those with low scores, can borrow up to $3,000 at a competitive rate, according to Altura. The borrowed funds are then placed into a share certificate at the credit union.
Altura said the loan contributes to a high loan score in several ways, including an on-time payment history. Once the loan is paid off, the borrower has access to the cash, according to the credit union.
“Altura created this loan as a way to offer people a lifeline and an opportunity to rebuild their score and move forward,” said Jennifer Binkley, chief operating officer at Altura. “We look at a low credit score and see an opportunity to help.”
With the tough economic conditions and job losses brought on by the Great Recession, Altura said a disproportionate number of people in the Inland Empire, where the credit union is based, were unable to pay their bills and, as a result, their credit scores dropped dramatically.