Self— formerly Self Lender— is revolutionizing the way consumers boost their financial health. This innovative platform helps you build credit while saving money, even if you’ve had past financial missteps or have little or no credit history.
What Is Self Inc.?
Formerly known as Self Lender, Self is a financial technology company headquartered in Austin, Texas, that prides itself on providing affordable and accessible credit-building tools to consumers. With financial inclusion at the forefront of their mission, the platform offers an alternative way to build credit while helping you save money.
Self Inc. serves consumers in all 50 states and is accessible online or via the mobile app. There’s no minimum credit score requirement, and you can get started with the platform even if you have little to no credit.
How Does Self Work?
Self offers a flexible credit builder loan that reports to the three credit bureaus each month to help build credit history. When you open an account, the loan proceeds are held in a secured bank account. You pay a non-refundable admin fee, followed by equal monthly installments for 12 or 24 months*. At the end of the payment term, Self sends your loan proceeds back to you (minus fees and interest) and reports the loan as paid in full to the credit bureaus.
Should You Use Self?
If you want a product that helps you build credit and build savings at the same time, Self may be a viable option. There’s no minimum credit score requirement, and Self doesn’t perform hard credit checks. Even better, you can get started for as little as $25 per month and access a secured Visa credit card during the loan term.
Self Products and Services
Self offers two core products – the Self Credit Builder Account and the Self Visa Credit Credit.
Self Credit Builder Account
You can start building credit while saving money for as little as $25 per month* with a Credit Builder Account. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:
- Step 1: Submit an online application. There is a $9 administrative fee to apply. The application will not impact your credit score, as Self only requires a soft check to verify your identity at this stage. If approved, Self will open a certificate of deposit (CD) on your behalf.
- Step 2: Select the payment term and monthly payment amount that works for your budget.
- Step 3: Monthly payments are deposited into your CD and reported to the three credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax—to improve your payment history.
- Step 4: Access the funds in your CD, minus interest and fees, when you pay off your Credit Builder Account.
Self Visa Credit Card
The Self Visa Credit Card is a secured product that’s available to Credit Builder Account holders. To qualify, you must make at least three on-time monthly payments or reach a minimum of $100 in savings, whatever comes first. If you’ve saved at least $100 and your loan is in good standing, you can allocate a portion of your savings to establish your credit limit and order your card. Upon receipt, you can activate and start using your card right away.
As you demonstrate responsible use of your secured credit card, Self may increase your credit limit over time or even give you a way to increase the credit limit on your own to give you further control over your savings and credit limits. You could also qualify for a partially unsecured credit card six months after opening your secured card if you maintain positive credit activity on your other credit accounts outside of Self. Also, know that Self reports the card to the three major credit bureaus, so you’ll need to make payments each month if you have a balance – pay in full if possible.
The Benefits of Using Self
- Build credit and build savings
- Consumers with varying credit backgrounds accepted
- Get approved without a hard credit check
- Users may get access to a secured Visa credit card after three months. Visit the Self website to see the full eligibility criteria.
- Get $10 when you refer friends and family who create a Credit Builder Account and successfully make their first loan payment
Self Mobile App Features
The Self app is available for Android and iOS devices. You can apply for an account, view your account activity, update account settings and learn more about the Refer-a-Friend Program directly from the mobile app. It also features a tutorial on how credit works and a direct link to the knowledge base to get answers to your most pressing questions.
How to Qualify for a Self Credit Builder Account
Wondering if you’re eligible for Self? To qualify for a Credit Builder Account, you should:
- Be at least 18 years of age or older and U.S. citizen, permanent U.S. resident or non-resident alien
- Have a valid physical address in the U.S.
When you apply, prepare to provide your Social Security number, phone number, email address, banking, debit card, or prepaid card information.
Costs and Fees of Self
Self offers four credit builder plans:
- Small Builder: Pay $25 per month for 24 months and receive $520 back. The annual percentage rate (APR) is 15.92 percent, and the total cost of the loan is $89.
- Medium Builder: Pay $35 per month for 24 months and receive $724 back. The annual percentage rate is 15.97 percent, and the total cost of the loan is $125.
- Large Builder: Pay $48 per month for 12 months and receive $539 back. The annual percentage rate is 15,65 percent, and the total cost of the loan is $46.
- X-Large Builder: Pay $150 per month for 12 months and receive $1,663. The annual percentage rate is 15.91 percent, and the total cost of the loan is $146.
At the time of writing, a one-time administrative fee of $9 also applies to each plan. To check current pricing and plans you can visit the Self website.
Get Started with Self
Visit Self’s website to start building your credit and your savings.