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We are proud to announce that we are dedicating $1,000,000 to providing free Credit Builders for Penn students who open a Quakers checking account or Penn Alumni who open an Alumni checking account. Whether you are an international student looking to set up your credit score for the first time or a US citizen looking to improve your credit score, this is the program for you!

Click here to apply for your SFCU account and free Credit Builder:

  • Make sure to select Quaker/Alumni checking account when selecting your choice of checking account.
  • When selecting an option for free Credit Builder, select "Yes, $1,000 for 24 months".

  • Why are we doing this?

    The economic difficulties faced by many of our members and their families over the past year has brought to light the importance of promoting financial health in our community. Since our founding, our goal has been to help support the Penn community and their financial wellbeing. Over the past few months, that mission has taken on new meaning, and we recognized that the need to support our community was greater than ever. We created this initiative to give back to the Penn community and provide a way to improve your credit at no cost. Building your credit is one of the most important ways you can build a strong financial foundation, especially as students, or recent graduates. Your credit score takes into account the length of your credit history, so the earlier you start building credit, the better your credit score will be in the future. A good credit score is crucial to getting access to credit cards, loans, and can help you make big purchases such as your first house or car when the time is right.

    What is a Credit Builder?

    This credit builder focuses on improving your credit score through timely payments on a loan, all covered by the UPenn SFCU.

    It works in the following way:
  • You apply for an Installment Credit Builder using the link at the top of this page
  • The free credit builder offers a term of 24 months and principal of $1000
  • The UPenn SFCU loans you the principal amount in a frozen account that you cannot access
  • The UPenn SFCU makes monthly payments on your behalf and sends a report of these timely payments to the credit bureaus. Normally, you would be responsible for paying interest on the loan, however, as part of our credit builder initiative, we are waiving the interest payments.
  • We report this to the credit agency as loan repayments are made on time. This builds your credit score.

  • Why is a Credit Score Important?

    Your credit score is a financial snapshot that presents you to the business world. Your financial history can directly affect your future, from how easily you are able to get a mortgage, rent an apartment, make large purchases, take out loans, and much more. When applying for jobs, some industries also take your credit score into account during the hiring process.

    Simply said, a good credit score is an essential factor to your success, whatever your path through life might be.

    The below video provides an in-depth explanation of what a credit builder is and why it is important.


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