Living with a bad credit score or minimal (if any) credit history can be difficult. Usually, you won’t qualify for favorable terms on credit products like credit cards and loans. You may get stuck with higher interest rates, large fees, or other financial penalties do to your less than ideal credit. As a result, many aspiring borrowers take active steps to improve their credit score before taking certain actions, like trying to get a mortgage or car loan. Self Lender is a company that says they can assist with building your credit, all while helping you save, too.

How Self Lender Works

With the Self Lender Credit Builder Account, you can build a better credit history. The company doesn’t conduct a hard pull on your credit report, so your score isn’t harmed by opening the account. By making your monthly payments on time, your credit score typically rises. Self Lender reports to all three major credit bureaus, so your on-time payments will show up on your Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax reports.

While that may not sound any different than other loans, Self Lender does something that’s a bit outside of the box. Instead of giving you the money from your loan, that cash is held as a Certificate of Deposit (CD), a type of savings vehicle. The bank holds onto the loaned money as a CD while you make payments. Once you finish paying off your Self Lender installment loan, that CD matures and unlocks, allowing you to receive the money.

At the end of the repayment, you receive the principal amount you borrowed (minus any interest paid). As a result, you are able to build your credit history while building a savings habit. However, in exchange for the ability to increase your credit score (and unlike many other savings options), you do have to pay fees and interest along the way.

Self Credit Builder Account Fees and Interest

Since the Self Credit Build Account is technically a lending product, you will encounter some fees and interest. First, there’s a $9 administrative fee for opening the account. Second, there is an annual percentage rate (APR) of just under 16 percent.

In comparison to many credit-building credit cards and personal loans, the Self Lender fees and interest rates are actually very low. This may make it a more affordable way to rebuild or create your credit profile.

How Fast Your Credit Score Will Increase

How quickly a Self Lender account can improve your credit score will vary. Your unique situation, prior credit history, and activity on other credit accounts all play a role. For example, if you miss a payment on a loan or credit card with another lender or issuer, that may offset any benefit from making on-time payments with Self Lender.

Similarly, how diligent you are about your Self Lender payments is a factor. Missing a payment or being late can harm your score.

It’s also important to note that a borrower’s credit score might initially drop when they open a Self Lender account. The new account reduces the average age of your accounts. However, this impact tends to be small and short.

Make On-Time Payments with Self Lender

By making on-time payments with Self Lender, you may see credit score improvements within one to six months after making your first payment. However, your results will vary.

How much your credit score improves isn’t guaranteed. Self Lender states that, on average, an account holder with an account in good standing usually sees a 45 point increase during the first six months. However, your previous credit score and history, as well as actions on other open accounts, could cause your results to be different.

For those establishing a credit score, expect it to take a minimum of six months of on-time payments to see a result. While some may see progress sooner than that, others will have to wait a bit longer than six months to make progress.


Do you have any tips that can help someone increase their credit score quickly? Do you believe that slow and steady is the only way to improve your credit score? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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