Facebook SmartStart Program|Establish Credit|First-time|Home Buyer|Auto Loan

SmartStart Program

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Program Overview

Our SmartStart program was designed to help all our members accomplish their dreams. From home ownership or apartment rental to buying your first car or establishing good credit, we are here to help you reach your goals. 

Our SmartStart First-Time Home Buyer program was created to provide buyers a flexible and affordable option for purchasing their first home. The program allows borrowers to put only 10% cash down, pay no mortgage insurance, and pick from a wide range of terms.

Our SmartStart Personal Loan, Auto Loan, and Visa Card are designed to give members with little to no credit history a loan that will not only assist them in reaching their goals, but do so with an affordable monthly payment. Other financial institutions may offer similar "first loans" but typically "penalize" members with no credit history with a higher rate, in turn creating an unaffordable monthly payment. At Direct, we are committed to offering members of our SmartStart program an affordable loan rate with a low monthly payment. It is our hope that this program sets the stage for a lifetime of financial success and stability for our members. 

SMARTSTART first-time home buyer

Our First-Time Home Buyer Program is the flagship product of our SmartStart program. Designed specifically for first-time home buyers, it allows borrowers to put only 10% cash down for their first home without the burden of a PMI (private mortgage insurance) requirement. Additionally, first-time buyers receive a discount on closing costs. This affordable and unique program gives first-time buyers the flexibility they need depending on their situation—borrowers can pick from ANY of our mortgage products and terms.

We will be here for you the entire process, from finding your dream home to buying your dream home. Talk to us today about getting pre-approved and starting your home buying journey. 
Visit our mortgages page to learn more about our wide range of mortgage terms available.


SmartStart Personal Loan

We recognize that building good credit is paramount to establishing financial wellness. We created this loan for individuals who have little to no credit history. This loan can be used to help with a hardship, establish an emergency fund, or pay for an upcoming large expense, such as getting an apartment. With a low rate of 13.74% APR1, you can pay us back at an affordable monthly payment.
Apply today to get started.


SmartStart Auto Loan

Buying a car is long considered the start of adulthood but yet many people struggle to buy their first car since they may not have had an opportunity yet to establish the credit required from lenders. Our SmartStart Auto Loan allows buyers who are 21 years of age or older and have little to no credit history purchase their first vehicle and start establishing credit. With rates starting at 7.49% APR2, your monthly payment will be affordable.  
Apply today and buy your first car tomorrow!


SmartStart Visa credit card

Our SmartStart Visa card is designed for borrowers who have little to no credit history. This card is a great opportunity to responsibly build credit. At a rate of 13.74% APR3, we offer a $500 credit line for the first six months. Provided all payments are made on-time for six consecutive months with no late payments, the borrower may be considered for an increase to $1,000.
Apply today and get started on establishing credit.



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1The rate listed is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR is effective as of 1/23/2023 and subject to change. Maximum loan amount is $1,000. Other terms and conditions may apply. Rates vary based on credit score. Subject to credit approval. Maximum term is 60 months.
2The rate listed is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR is effective as of 1/20/2023 and subject to change. Maximum loan amount is $25,000. The APR listed reflects a -.50% discount for having an automatic deduction set up from your Hub Checking or Community Checking account at Direct Federal. Maximum loan-to-value is 80% of the MSRP (new autos) or NADA Value (used autos).  Other terms and conditions may apply. Rates vary based on term, credit score and model year. Subject to credit approval. Maximum term is 84 months depending on model year.
3The rate listed is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR is effective as of 1/23/2023  for purchases and cash advances and subject to change. The APR is variable and will be adjusted on the first day of each billing cycle by adding 5.74% (the “margin”) to The Wall Street Journal Prime Rate as published on the last business day of the preceding calendar month (the "index").