Are you tired of being haunted by bad credit? Credit Strong and Self offer innovative ways to build credit while saving money by providing credit builder loans. But which is best?
Keep reading to learn more about each platform, key similarities and differences, and how to decide which is best to build credit.
Build Credit and Savings with Self
What is Credit Strong?
A division of Austin Capital Bank, Credit Strong offers accounts to help you build credit while saving money. If approved, Austin Capital Bank issues an installment loan, and the proceeds are held in a savings account that belongs to you. You’ll make monthly payments (principal and interest) on the loan. Austin Capital Bank reports payment activity to the three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The loan proceeds are dispersed to you at the end of the repayment term.
Choose from one of the following plans:
- Subscribe 1000: $15 per month for 120 months; installment account of $1,000 reported to the credit bureaus
- Subscribe 2500: $30 per month for 120 months; installment account of $2,500 reported to the credit bureaus
- Build & Save 1000 – 24 Months: $48 per month for 24 months; installment account of $1,000 reported to the credit bureaus
- Build & Save 1000 – 12 Months: $89 per month for 12 months; installment account of $1,000 reported to the credit bureaus
- Build & Save 2000 – 24 Months: $96 per month for 24 months; installment account of $2,000 reported to the credit bureaus
There are no credit checks, income requirements or upfront deposits, and you could apply and get approved in minutes.
What is Self (formerly Self Lender)?
Self is a financial technology company that offers non-traditional credit builder accounts and secured credit cards. You can get approved for a credit builder account to start rebuilding credit while saving money, even if you have a poor or limited credit history.
Start by downloading the mobile app or visiting the website to apply for a credit builder account. There’s no impact on your credit score, and it only takes a few minutes. Upon approval, choose from one of these options:
- Small Builder: $25 per month for 24 months; receive $520 at the end of the repayment term
- Medium Builder: $35 per month for 24 months; receive $724 at the end of the repayment term
- Large Builder: $48 per month for 12 months; receive $539 at the end of the repayment term
- X-Large Builder: $150 per month for 12 months; receive $1,663 at the end of the repayment term
(Note: You’ll also pay a $9 non-refundable administrative fee to get started).
As you make your payments, Self deposits the loan proceeds into a certificate of deposit (CD) and holds them there until you complete the program. Each month, payment activity is reported to the three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – to help improve your payment history and build your credit score. Once the payment term ends, Self returns the monthly payments to you, minus any applicable interest and fees.
You can also get a secured Visa credit card through Self once you’ve had an account for at least three months, made timely payments and reached at least $100 in savings progress. And you won’t need to use additional money to provide a security deposit. Instead, Self allows you to use a portion of your savings progress to establish your credit limit and order the card. Once the card is active, you can use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
Another perk of the secured Visa credit card is the ability to increase the credit limit or convert it to a partially unsecured credit card product. This benefit comes with responsible use over time.
Build Credit and Savings with Self
Credit Strong vs. Self
Torn between Credit Strong and Self to establish or start rebuilding credit? Consider the key similarities and differences between the two:
Similarities Between Credit Strong and Self
- Both allow you to build credit while saving money.
- Neither requires credit checks or upfront security deposits.
- There’s no minimum income requirement.
- Both report to the three primary credit bureaus.
- You can cancel both services at any time and receive a refund (minus interest and fees)
- Both allow you to earn money by referring others.
Differences Between Credit Strong and Self
- Self is available in all 50 states. However, Credit Strong is available in all states except for Wisconsin and Vermont.
- Self offers a secured Visa credit card to Credit Builder account holders with $100 or more in savings progress and three months of on-time payments.
- Credit Strong features a loan marketplace and plans to help you establish or build business credit.
- Self provides Experian VantageScore 3.0 scores free of charge on the dashboard. But you’ll get your FICO Score 8 from TransUnion through Credit Strong.
Credit Strong vs. Self: Which One Should You Use to Build Credit?
Torn between Credit Strong and Self to build credit and save money? Both have easy qualification criteria, report to the three primary credit bureaus and can be canceled at any time. Plus, you can earn money by referring relatives and friends.
However, Self is likely the better option if you live in one of the states not serviced by CreditStrong. Furthermore, you could get a secured Visa credit card with Self once you’ve had an account for a few months that’s in good standing. CreditStrong doesn’t offer this benefit, but there is a loan marketplace to explore debt products.
Still, Self is the preferred option over 2.5 million people have used to build credit. The average user sees an increase of 32 points from a Self Credit Builder Account, but the impact on your credit score depends on several factors.
Get started with Self today if you’re ready to work towards building the credit score you deserve.