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August 2023 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship Winner: Brianna B.

September 7, 2023

August 2023 1FBUSA Scholarship Winner- Brianna B.

We are excited to announce the August 2023 Financial Goals Scholarship winner is Brianna! Congratulations!

"I am so honored to have received this scholarship award by the 1st Financial Bank USA. It felt amazing waking up to see that I was selected as the recipient of this award. I would like to thank the 1st Financial Bank USA team for recognizing me for my efforts on achieving good credit. This scholarship has saved me from so much financial burden and that is something I will be forever grateful for." - Brianna B.


Often times, students may feel pressured to keep up with the latest music releases or revolving fashion trends. However, one trend that never goes out of style is having a good credit score. In her essay, Brianna shares the steps she takes to build credit in college and reach her long-term financial goals.

"I never understood the importance of a good credit score until I graduated high school and started to make adult purchases. During my freshman year of college, I was living in a dorm with my roommate wishing I had an apartment with my own bedroom, bathroom, and a nice kitchen to cook homemade meals. I began searching around for apartments that I could live in for the next school year and stumbled upon the perfect apartment complex within less than a mile walking distance from campus. My friend, who agreed to be my roommate for next year, and I took a tour of the complex, and we both admitted that the complex was a perfect fit for us. The tour guide told us that all we had to do was fill in the application, and the landlord will check our credit scores to see if we meet the requirements to sign a lease.

That moment was when I realized that I had no credit score to begin with. I was credit invisible in the eyes of the landlord, so I could not lease the apartment under my name. After I recognized that I needed to start building my credit, I had a talk with my parents. They agreed that I should apply to get a credit card so that in the future, I can make big purchases as long as I maintained a good credit. After the long process of applying to several different credit card companies, I finally got approved to have a credit card, and now I can finally begin to build my credit.

At first, every month I would go to my local grocery store to purchase my groceries using my credit card. As soon as the transaction was complete, I went home and immediately paid off my credit card using the money from my regular bank account. That way I am not stalling on my payments or spending too much on my credit card, but I am using it enough to where I can slowly build my credit. As I am now a sophomore in college, I am continuing to build my credit every month. By the time that I am a junior in college, I will be able to pay for my own apartment under my name using my credit instead of my parents’ credit.

After I graduate college, I plan to eventually buy a house, but without a good credit score, that goal is not possible. By building a good credit score, when  it comes time for me to make bigger purchases, I won’t need to rely on anyone to make those purchases. I strive to reach my financial goals by continuing to build good credit throughout college. Although I still have a long way to go, I know it will be worth it in the end.


Established in the year 1910, 1st Financial Bank USA (1FBUSA) provides quality community banking services in South Dakota, credit card and other financial services to college students and college graduates, and construction lending to builders, developers, and investors from coast to coast. 1FBUSA will award a $2,000 scholarship to a new winner each month. View full rules and eligibility at


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