Self Financial levels the playing field for consumers who want to build their credit. Whether you’ve had a series of past missteps that hurt your credit health or you have little to no credit, the Self Credit Builder Account can help you get back on track.
Self offers affordable credit-building tools to further their mission of financial inclusion. Their signature product, a Credit Builder Loan, can help you add positive history to your credit report if you have a low credit score or want to build credit from scratch.
The company serves consumers in all 50 states, and you can get started with a credit builder plan for as little as $25 per month*.
What Is the Self Credit Builder Account?
The Self Credit Builder Account is an installment loan that helps you build credit and build savings. The loan proceeds are held in a Certificate of Deposit (CD), and you make equal monthly payments. When the balance is paid in full, you get access to the funds to use however you see fit.
Is the Self Credit Builder Account Right for You?
Ultimately, you have to decide if a Self Builder Account is right for you. To make an informed decision, conduct a cost-benefit analysis. While there are required monthly payments, you will get all the money back (minus interest) when you make all the scheduled payments. So, you’ll improve your payment history and save money, as long as you make your payments on time.
Plus, good credit isn’t required to get approved and you could qualify for an account with no credit history. You can also get access to a secured credit card after at least three months of timely payments with at least $100 in savings progress without making additional deposits.
How Does the Self Credit Builder Account Work?
The Self Credit Builder account builds credit by opening a loan and reporting monthly payments to the three credit bureaus—Experian™, TransUnion®, and Equifax®—until the scheduled payments are complete.
According to FICO®, payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score, so timely payments help strengthen this category.
What is a Certificate of Deposit Account (CD Account)?
A certificate of deposit is an account that holds your money for an extended period and pays a higher rate of return than a traditional savings account. Most require a minimum deposit of $1,000, and the funds are not accessible until the maturity date.
When you open a Credit Builder Loan with Self, funds are held in a CD. However, you are not required to make a deposit. The bank funds the CD for you, and the monthly payments you make cover the loan balance. At the maturity date, the CD unlocks, and all the money (minus interest) is yours to keep.
What is a Credit Building Loan?
A credit builder loan is an installment loan that’s secured by funds held in a bank account. You make equal monthly payments for the loan term, and payment activity is reported to the credit bureaus. The loan proceeds are sent to you (less fees and interest) when the loan is paid in full.
How Much Does the Self Credit Builder Account Cost?
There are four credit builder plans to choose from:
- 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.
You can check pricing and details on the Self pricing page on their website.
How to Qualify for a Self Credit Builder Loan
Here’s what you need to qualify for a Self Credit Builder loan:
- Be 18 years or older with a valid Social Security number
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or non-resident alien
- Have a valid physical address in the U.S.
- Have a working phone number and email address
- Have an open bank account or prepaid card
Self Credit Builder Account Customer Reviews
Here’s what a few past and current customers had to say about the Self Credit Builder Account in verified reviews from the App Store and Google Play Store. Keep in mind that your results could be different based on your unique credit history and how you manage your payments.
- Using Self helped me improve my credit score in an easy and efficient way. I was able to purchase my first home. It literally takes a few minutes and the payoff is tremendous. Don’t get me wrong, this was not the only process I went through, but this and one other company I used helped increase my credit score greatly. I have recommended Self to several others that are interested in improving their credit score. (Source: Terry D. Google Play Store on October 12, 2021)
- I’ve been with Self for a few years now, and at first, there was a doubt. I didn’t believe an app could really boost my credit score by so many points, but Self did!! And, I love it!! I was recently able to purchase a vehicle off the lot, with my score. (Source: Courtney Washington. Google Play Store on October 15, 2021)
- The app itself is great. Clear, easy to understand and stable. The Self program will build your credit. If you are over 700 then don’t bother. Self does what it says. No complaints. (Source: Carl Lindley. Google Play Store on October 15, 2021)
- Really good for young people. So I made the mistake of trying to buy vehicles without any credit. One company only did one hard inquiry and another really messed up. They did seven hard inquiries. My credit was looking low. I had a credit card but only for about 3 or 4 months and it was always paid off on time but it was just so slow building my credit. I started looking up ways to build it and Self popped up. I was skeptical about it at first because you know, I don’t like giving out personal info to an app. And I wasn’t really sure if it even worked. After researching and reading hundreds of reviews I decided to go ahead and download the app. I make decent money for being 18 (well 19 now) so I went with the most expensive one they had. Yes. The interest is high but it’s not that noticeable. Your credit will go down because you opened a new line but give it 2-3 months. My credit has shot up probably 30-40 points. Do not do this if you aren’t sure if you can afford to make payments. I knew I could. If you make your payments on time (I have mine on autopay) then you will see the results happen so quickly. 10/10 will recommend this app for new credit builders. (Source: Ray dude29. App Store on August 6, 2021)
How to Open a Self Credit Builder Account
Ready to open a Self Credit Builder Account? Here’s a breakdown of how it works:
- Step 1: Visit Self’s website to select the plan that works best for you.
- Step 2: Apply for a Self Builder Account and pay the non-refundable administration fee so Self can open a CD to house the loan proceeds.
- Step 3: Make timely monthly payments for 12 or 24 months, depending on the plan you select.
- Step 4: Access your cash when the account balance is paid off.
Other Ways to Build Credit with Self
Self also offers a Visa Credit Card to select members.
The Self Visa Credit Card
The Self Visa Credit Card is available to Credit Builder account holders with accounts in good standing who’ve made at least three payments on time and have savings progress of $100 or more.
If you meet the qualification criteria, You will receive a notification indicating your eligibility for a secured credit card from Self. Select the portion of your accumulated savings (minimum of $100) that you’d like to allocate to your card – this amount will serve as your credit limit – and order your card. When it arrives in the mail, you can use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
You could qualify for increases with responsible use of your secured credit card over time. Self may also convert your card to a partially unsecured credit card after six months.