If you just opened your Self Credit Builder Account or are thinking about doing so, remember that unlike traditional personal loans, the purpose of the Credit Builder Account is to help you build credit and save some money aside for later.
You get the money (minus interest and fees) from your Self Credit Builder Account at the end of the loan term or when you close your account. (If you need access to money immediately, consider getting a personal loan instead.)
Once you finish your account, it takes up to 3 weeks for your money to arrive, depending on the payout method you chose.
Planning to pay off your account early to get your money faster?
By paying off your account early, you limit how much payment history you could build with Self. At 35%, payment history is the largest credit score factor! You also shorten the average age of your credit accounts (another 15% of your credit score).
Top 5 questions about Self Credit Builder Account payouts
Watch this short video to learn answers to the top 5 most commonly asked question about Self Credit Builder Account payouts.
What are my Self payout options?
There are two ways to receive a payout from your Self Credit Builder Account:
Direct deposit to your bank account.
Paper check in the mail.
Direct deposit is usually the fastest way to get your money.
Here’s what to know about both options.
Payout by direct deposit
If you want your money directly deposited into your bank account, set up your bank account information as soon as possible after you open your Credit Builder Account.
Connecting your bank account early in your loan helps avoid confusion and delays as you near the end of the loan term. Double check that you entered your bank account correctly to avoid any issues with payments.
Another reason to connect your bank account early is that once your Credit Builder Account closes, it may be too late to add a bank account and choose direct deposit, depending on your bank’s processing times.
Payout by paper check
If connecting a bank account and using direct deposit isn’t an option or you just don’t want to do that, we will mail you a paper check.
Note: paper checks may take up to three weeks to arrive by US Postal Service.
How is my payout calculated?
The payout from your Credit Builder Account equals the total amount you paid into your Self account minus interest, any fees and the security deposit on your Self credit card (if applicable).
If you received your check in the mail and are planning to cash it, here’s some information you might want to know.
There are two main ways Self customers cash their checks:
Cash it or deposit it at a bank (recommended)
Use a check cashing service
Here are some pros and cons of each.
Cashing your Self Financial check at your bank
Many banks offer free deposits into your checking or savings account with them.
Usually need to have a bank account to cash or deposit funds.
Can often deposit using your bank’s mobile app from the comfort of your own home, or in-person at your bank, at your bank’s drive-through or at an ATM.
Unpaid banking fines and fees may be deducted from the amount deposited into your account.
Once deposited, you can pay by debit card, add it to your savings account or use it to pay bills online.
It can take a few days after deposit for funds to become fully available.
Note: If you struggle to gain access to or have recently been denied a bank account, you may want to look into our resource about second chance banking. This resource could help you get back into banking.
Cashing your Self check at a check casher
No bank account required.
They charge fees to cash the check.
Might be able to get your cash immediately.
Fees vary based on check-casher or retailer involved and size of check.
May have policies to verify the check prior to cashing, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get cash right away.
Having trouble getting your check cashed through a check cashing service?
The cashier or retailer may have a policy in place that requires them to call us and verify the funds before they will cash your check. If the check casher tries to turn you away, ask them whether they can call Self and verify the funds.
If your preferred retailer won’t cash the check, and visiting your bank isn’t an option, you may also be able to deposit the check onto a prepaid debit card. Learn more about prepaid debit cards.
My Self account is about to end, what do I do to get my money?
When you’re getting close to the end of your Self Credit Builder Account, take these steps to streamline your payout process as much as possible.
Step 1 - Make sure your information is correct
Login to your Self account and make sure your name, mailing address, and contact information are all up to date (especially if you plan to get a paper check by mail).
If you chose direct deposit, make sure your bank account information is still correct.
Step 2 - Track your payout using the payout tracker
Once you complete or close your Credit Builder Account, you can track your payout using the payout tracker. To view your payout status, Download the Self app.
Watch this short video to see how to access your payout tracker tool in the Self app:
Note: this feature is only available once you complete or close your Credit Builder Account. You won’t be able to see it before then.
If you used some of your Credit Builder Account funds to secure your Self Visa® credit card, those funds will be held as security for the credit limit as long as the card is open.
If you don’t have the Self secured credit card yet and are looking for the next tool to build your credit, you can learn more here. You may already be eligible to open the Self card. If so, you will see your eligibility tracker in your Self account dashboard.
Step 4 - Account for any fees (if applicable)
If you have any unpaid late fees or returned payment fees, those fees will be deducted from the payout before you get your money.
What do I do if my account closed and I have not gotten my money yet?
Haven’t gotten your money yet and it’s already been 3 weeks since your account closed? Checked your mailbox and nothing? Checked the payout tracker and it says your money already arrived, but you haven’t gotten it?
Here are some things you can do to troubleshoot your account.
1 - Watch for emails requesting more information before we can send your check
In the interest of security, you may get an email from someone on our compliance or customer service team requesting additional identity verification before we can release the money to you.
If you get an email, please upload the requested documentation using the link provided in the email.
If you haven’t received your check and haven’t seen an email like the one described above, you may have to check the spam folder in your email account.
Unsure if an email’s really from Self Financial?
There are a lot of email scams out there, so if you’re not sure whether an email is really from us, please contact us directly so we can look at your account to verify.
2 - Make sure your mailing address is correct
Login to your account and make sure your mailing address is accurate. If you’ve moved recently and your old address is still on file, your check may have been sent to the wrong place. We use the mailing address in your account to send your payout.
If you find the address in your account is incorrect and your check has already been sent, please contact us to discuss your options.
3 - Have patience, especially if you chose a paper check payout
It can take up to 3 weeks before your payout check arrives in the mail. Please have patience if that timeline hasn’t passed yet. Your money is likely on its way.
If it’s been more than 3 weeks, contact us so we can look into it for you.
What if I need my Self payout immediately?
While we're not able to get you your Self payout immediately (as in that day), you can start the process of getting your payout sooner rather than later by canceling your Credit Builder Account.. As long as your account is in good standing, you can cancel your Self account at any time.
Note: it could take up to 3 weeks to receive your payout, depending. Please make sure your address or bank account information is correct before closing your account.
Understanding how your payout works, when you can expect to receive your money and how to troubleshoot some basic payout issues can make your Self Credit Builder Account experience much smoother.
Lauren Bringle is an Accredited Financial Counselor® and Content Marketing Manager with Self Financial – a financial technology company with a mission to help people build credit and savings. See Laure's profilen on Linkedin.
Written on August 14, 2020
Self is a venture-backed startup that helps people build credit and savings. Comments? Questions? Send us a note at email@example.com.
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.