It’s a loan in a bank-held Certificate of Deposit (CD) that you pay off in monthly installments.
Each monthly payment gets reported to all three credit bureaus. That builds your all important credit payment history - which makes up 35% of your credit score^^^.
Potentially access the Self Visa® Credit Card using money you already paid into your Credit Builder Account in as little as 3 months.** There's no hard credit pull!
** Subject to change
Self Financial is a company with a mission to increase financial inclusion by offering accessible and affordable credit-building tools. The Self Credit Builder Account can be a first step in establishing credit from scratch. If you have bad credit or a low credit score, the Credit Builder Account is a chance to add positive credit history to your credit report.
You choose a credit builder loan that you can afford and a term that meets your needs. Then open your account and pay the non-refundable admin fee. Self reports the new open installment loan to the credit bureaus. Self reports your payment activity to the credit bureaus at the beginning of each month until your scheduled payments are complete.
A credit builder loan is a secured installment loan that holds the money until you’ve finished paying back the loan. One big difference between a credit builder loan and any other type of loan is that while you make your regular payments, the loan amount is held in a secure bank account. Because the purpose of the loan is to build credit history, you get the money at the end instead of the beginning. Unlike payday loans and some unsecured personal loans, the credit builder loan details and monthly payment activity are reported to the credit bureaus so that you can get credit for timely payment activity.
Many people get a secured credit card for the same reason they would get a credit builder loan - to build credit history so they can access future loans like a mortgage or car loan. Though they are both secured credit products, secured credit cards and credit builder loans are very different, though they can be used together to build credit. Learn more about how Self’s Credit Builder Account can be the first step toward a secured credit card.
How long it takes to improve your credit score varies for each person. Some Self Credit Builder Account holders report an impact to their credit score after the first time we report to the credit bureaus while others do not report an impact until multiple payments have been made and reported. The time it takes to affect your credit score and how much a credit builder loan could impact your credit depends on your existing credit history and how you manage your monthly payments.
A Self loan is different from other types of loans. Since the Self Credit Builder is intended to help you build credit, you do not get the money until the end of your account (minus interest and fees). To be clear, you do not get the money up front. Instead, your loan principal is held in a secure bank account until your loan is complete or you close your account.
The Self Credit Builder Account is reported to all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
Self reports to the credit bureaus at the beginning of each month. The report includes credit builder loan activity from the previous month.
Your credit builder loan can be paid early and closed at any time. Please be aware that payment history is the most important factor in determining your credit score. By paying off your account early, you will establish less payment history with the credit bureaus. Your completed loan would be reported as if you’ve paid off the account early and any information reported during the life of the loan will remain on your report. Learn more about early account closure here.
When you finish paying your credit builder loan, Self reports the loan as paid in full and sends your money back to you (minus interest and fees). Learn more about your Self Credit Builder payout here.
In the Self app or on the website, you can access the VantageScore 3.0 credit score. This is different from the FICO® score or other credit scores you could get directly from the credit bureaus. Since the Self credit builder loan is reported to all three credit bureaus, it can affect multiple credit score models. Learn more here about VantageScore and FICO score.