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Dupaco’s Great Credit Race aims to boost members’ financial positions

On a mission to help its members build their credit score for a brighter financial future, Dupaco Community Credit Union is kicking off its second Great Credit Race today.

In a battle to build credit muscle, 14 participants will race to build their credit score from 0 to as high as possible in six months. The competition provides an opportunity for both racers and observers to gain a better understanding of how credit works and how it impacts every stage of life.

Each racer will receive a Dupaco Visa credit card with a $1,000 limit and one-on-one coaching on how the proper use of credit can help build and maintain a favorable credit score. The participant with the highest score at the finish line will win $1,000, with the second-place finisher receiving $500. All players—and race fans—win by learning how to build and maintain great credit.

Consumers’ ability to obtain financing, rent an apartment and even get a job might all depend on their credit score, but it’s hard to get credit without a credit score. More than half of Dupaco’s young adult members don’t have a credit score.

Dupaco’s Great Credit Race is one more way the credit union is fulfilling its mission to improve each member’s financial position, according to Jill Rothenberger, vice president, consumer lending, at Dupaco’s Hillcrest Road branch in Dubuque.

“It’s so important to us to help our members establish a good credit score, so when they do want to buy a vehicle or house, they qualify for the lowest interest rates available,” says Rothenberger, who is mentoring Dupaco’s four Great Credit Race coaches. “The racers will not only learn about their credit score, but also about how to budget and create a savings plan. We want to give these young members the tools they need to be financially responsible.”

Race applications were accepted through April 1, and racers include Dupaco members from Dubuque, Dyersville, Manchester, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.

But everyone can participate by following the Great Credit Race online for race updates and educational resources on how to build credit.

Dupaco’s inaugural Great Credit Race kicked off in 2013, when 13 participants raced to obtain the highest credit score in six months. The findings from the race were used to help credit unions across the nation understand how people both use and learn about credit.