News Center

How I did it: Helped my son establish credit

‎06-03-2014 02:49 PM

BlyarDavid Blyar created a plan to help his son, Esteban, build a credit rating in just nine months.


As told to Kathy Sena


My son, Esteban, began building a credit rating right after his 18th birthday.


After opening checking and savings accounts, Esteban applied for a secured credit card, which allowed his payment activity to be reported to all three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This reporting can help establish credit. The card we chose also offers rewards points and doesn’t charge an annual fee.


Esteban keeps his balance well under his credit limit and uses his secured card much like a debit card. He doesn’t wait to get his monthly bill. He checks his charges online frequently and pays the current amount due every weekend with an electronic transfer from his checking account.


Credit Score Factors
  • Payment history
  • Amount of credit limit used
  • Length of credit history
  • Multiple new credit accounts
  • Types of credit in use

After he mastered the use of the secured card, Esteban got a small secured loan from a credit union. These loans generally have a lower interest rate because the bank is taking a lower risk and can collect the collateral if you default on payments. He deposited $400, which served as collateral. Then Esteban applied for a secured $300 loan. He set up automatic payments from his savings account to pay off the loan over the next six months. The interest rate was 2.25 percent, just pennies to help establish a good line of credit.


Nine months after Esteban turned 18, his credit score was 761, according to Equifax, whose scores range from 280 to 850, with higher scores indicating lower credit risk. Now 19, he has enlisted in the Marine Corps and plans to apply for a small auto loan for a used car when he completes boot camp in June. With the good credit he’s established over the past year, I know my son will be successful.


To learn how a USAA Bank secured credit card can help build or improve your credit score, visit




This credit card program is issued by USAA Savings Bank, Member FDIC.


Blyar carousel

by D+5c
‎06-12-2014 04:30 PM
Thank you for sharing knowledge

Community Managers

Briana Hartzell

Briana Hartzell

Briana knows all about moving. This Navy spouse has helped her husband relocate to four different naval air stations in the last three years. A former USAA employee, Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys military life can bring.

View Briana's Profile
Wendy Poling

Wendy Poling

Wendy is a social media strategist and founder of, featuring a popular military spouse blog and the hit podcast Navy Wife Radio and now Military Life Radio. She is the wife of a submariner who has also served in Afghanistan.

View Wendy's Profile
Charles Pratt

Charles "Chazz" Pratt

Charles "Chazz" Pratt III is a former U.S. Army Captain who made the Military-to-Civilian career transition in 1994. In his book, The Fort Living Room Transition Course, he shares valuable tips & tricks to help you succeed. Since his transition from the military, he's worked for several Fortune 500 companies, including Pfizer, Genentech, and St. Jude Medical, among others.

View Chazz's Profile
Joseph Montanaro

Joseph "J.J." Montanaro

Joseph "J.J." Montanaro is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

View Joseph "J.J." Montanaro's Profile
Close Pop-up