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Park State Bank aims to help people with its new Credit Builder program

Got a bad credit score?

Park State Bank in Duluth wants to help.

The bank announced last week that it will offer a program designed to help consumers improve their credit scores while building up their savings at the same time.

Here’s how Credit Builder works: Loans are issued to program participants with the money going into an interest-bearing certificate of deposit account at the bank. The customer pays off the loan in monthly installments until it’s paid off.

When it is, the customer has a tidy savings account and an improved credit score. In some cases, the credit score can improve substantially, said Dale Lewis, the bank’s president.

The bank started the program to help many who have trouble getting a loan, she said.

“Getting a loan for a home or a car is part of the American Dream,” Lewis said in a statement. “Unfortunately, too many people — and especially young people — have credit that needs to be built or restored before they can qualify for a loan. That’s why we’re starting this program.”

The program is ideal for people with credit scores in the low 600s or who have no credit at all.

The loan amounts vary, depending on the customer. But with the regular loan payments, some may see their credit score improve before paying back the loan in full.

Eligibility requirements include having a steady income.

The program was launched last week. For more information, visit or call senior lender Bruce Illsley at 218-727-8001 or e-mail