How Credit Reporting Works at Self

Self credit builder account

By Lauren Bringle, AFC®

We get a lot of questions about how credit reporting works at Self. While credit scores, credit reports and credit in general can be confusing, we try to do our part to make it a little easier to digest.

That’s why we put together this detailed rundown about Self and your credit report.

But first, one very important note:

If you don’t have credit before joining Self, or you haven’t had an active credit account in a long time (6 months or more), you may not have a credit report. If you don’t have a credit report, you won’t have a credit score either.

If this is you, don’t worry, Self could help you get there. You may also want to check out this piece on how long it takes to build credit.

Now let’s dive into these top questions about credit reporting and Self.

In this article

When does Self report to the credit bureaus?

We report once a month to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).

This report, which is sent to the credit bureaus the first week of each month, is a snapshot of your Self account from the month before.

This report includes information on your Credit Builder Account, and, if applicable, your Self Visa® Credit Card.

For example:

If you open a Credit Builder Account in mid-January, we report your account-opening to the credit bureaus the first week of February.

If you don’t make your first monthly payment (not just your administrative fee) until February, that payment won’t be reported to the bureaus until the first week of March.

Here's an example timeline for credit reporting:

  • January 15th - You create your new Credit Builder Account and pay your administrative fee.
  • 1st week of February - Self reports your newly opened account to the 3 major credit bureaus.
  • February 10th-15th - The credit bureaus update your credit report. (Please note - in some cases, it may take credit bureaus a few weeks or more to update your credit report).
  • February 14th - You make your 1st monthly payment to Self.
  • 1st week of March - Self reports your 1st monthly payment to the 3 major credit bureaus.
  • March 10th-15th - The credit bureaus update your credit report. (Please note - in some cases, it may take credit bureaus a few weeks or more to update your credit report).

Or check out this infographic of what to expect from your new Self Credit Builder Account.

The Self secured credit card is also reported once a month, including information from the month before.

What does Self report to the credit bureaus?

Each month when we report your Credit Builder Account or Self secured credit card to the credit bureaus, we include your:

  • Account balance as of the last day of the month
  • Account status (open or closed)
  • Account payment history (paid on time, late, not paid, etc)

A few important notes:

  • Once you pay off your Credit Builder Account, the account will be reported as “closed - paid as agreed” to the credit bureaus.
  • We are required by law to report your credit history accurately, which means we have to report the good news (like payments made on time) and any bad news (like missed or late payments).

Learn why payment history matters for your credit here.

What does Self look like on your credit report?

The Credit Builder Account will show up on your credit report as a secured installment loan and will include some combination of the banking partner who secures the money in your account and Self.

Each credit bureau and credit monitoring site may show your credit report a little differently, and have Self listed under slightly different names.

Here’s a list of some of the ways a Self account (formerly known as Self Lender) may appear on your credit report:

  • atlantic capital bank self
  • atlantic capital bank self lender
  • atlantic cap bkselflendr
  • atlantic cap bk self lender
  • Atlcapbkself
  • lead bank self lend
  • leadbankselflend
  • leadbankselflend cc payment
  • lead bank self lender
  • sbna self lender
  • sbnaselflndr
  • sbnaslfldr
  • self inc/lead
  • self lead bank
  • sf/lead bank
  • sunrise bank self lender
  • sunrise self lender

Look a little confusing? Don’t worry, we’re working on it.

We’re currently working with our bank partners, engineers and the credit bureaus to streamline and simplify how Self appears on your credit report moving forward.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work hard to make Self products better and better for you.

Reading your monthly payment history on your credit report

Your monthly payment history may look different depending on which credit report you’re looking at and which credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) the report was pulled from.

Some third-party credit reporting apps (like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, or CreditWise, to name a few) may even have their own way to show your payment history.

Your payment history is a detailed, month-by-month view of each of your credit accounts, showing if each monthly payment was on time, late or missed, if an account was closed (for example, if you paid it off), sent to collections, etc.

It typically shows at least the last 24 months of past payment behavior.

For example:

Some reports will show dots.

Others may show a grid with checkmarks. Here’s an example of what payment history could look like. Note: This example is not an actual credit report and is meant only for educational and illustrative purposes.

Credit report payment history illustration

It usually takes at least a month before a new payment shows up on your credit report, though it may take longer.

Your credit report (and other credit monitoring) is a snapshot of your credit past, not a real-time view into what your credit looks like at any given moment.

Learn more about how to read your credit report here.

How long does it take for Self to show up on your credit report?

It takes a few weeks or more after we send the monthly report for the credit bureaus to update your credit report. It may take even longer for this new information to appear on other credit monitoring sites.

Here’s what the credit reporting process looks like from start to finish:

  1. We report your credit history to the credit bureaus each month.
  2. The credit bureaus then add that information to your credit report. (This could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months)
  3. The credit scoring models (like FICO and VantageScore) then pull the information from your credit report and factor it into your credit score.
  4. Your credit score updates on third-party credit monitoring sites (like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, CreditWise, etc.)

We report once a month to the three major credit bureaus. This report, which is sent to the credit bureaus the first week of each month, is a snapshot of your Self account(s) from the month before.

So if you made a Self payment last month, and that dot or checkmark hasn’t shown up on your credit report just yet, don’t worry! It may take a while (a month or more) after we report to the credit bureaus for them to add the information to your credit report.

Only after that info is added to your credit report can it be factored into your credit score and displayed on third party credit monitoring sites.

Learn more about how credit reporting works at Self in this FAQ.

What if you spot an error in your Self credit reporting?

If something on your credit report from Self isn’t correct, or after a few months you notice something missing from Self on your report, please take screenshots of the missing or incorrect info and send them to help@self.inc.

From there, someone on our customer service team will help you troubleshoot and start the process to correct the errors if needed.

Heads up:

We are required by law to report the history on your Self accounts accurately, which means we have to report the good and the bad (on-time payments and late or missed ones, too).

We are not able to remove or change any accurate late or missed payment information from your credit report.

If you are struggling financially and at risk of missing an upcoming payment, please speak to one of our customer service agents about your options.

Infographic about what to expect from your Self Credit Builder Account

Check out this infographic for a brief overview of what to expect from your Self Credit Builder Account.

What to Expect From Your Self Credit Builder Account

*Disclaimers: All Credit Builder Accounts made by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, Sunrise Banks, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

The Self Visa® Credit Card is issued by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.*

About the author

Lauren Bringle is an Accredited Financial Counselor® with Self Financial – a financial technology company with a mission to increase economic inclusion by helping people build credit and savings. Connect with her on Linkedin or Twitter. 

Written on February 23, 2021

Self is a venture-backed startup that helps people build credit and savings.
Comments? Questions? Send us a note at hello@self.inc.

Disclaimer: Self is not providing financial advice. The content presented does not reflect the view of the Issuing Banks and is presented for general education and informational purposes only. Please consult with a qualified professional for financial advice.

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