How does a Credit Builder Account work?

A Credit Builder Account is a credit builder loan, which is a small installment loan that’s held in a Certificate of Deposit (CD) at one of our bank partners. The account is FDIC insured and is held in your name at one of our bank partners, Sunrise Banks, N.A., Lead Bank and Atlantic Capital Bank, NA.

The Credit Builder Account at Self works in the following way: 

  1. You can join Self at no cost and then apply for a Credit Builder Account. Once approved, you pay a one-time, non-refundable administrative fee for the Credit Builder Account. 

  2. Our bank partner lends you a small loan, which the bank holds onto until the loan is paid in full. The loan funds are held in a Certificate of Deposit (CD). 

  3. The next month, you start repaying your Credit Builder Account by making equal payments over the term of the loan. Each month, your payment history is reported to the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Payment history = 35% of your FICO credit score. 

  4. At the end of the term, once you’ve paid off your loan, your CD matures and unlocks. The principal amount you put in (minus fees and interest) unlocks and comes back to you. 

Unlike some other credit builder loans, the Self Credit Builder Account is available online or via our mobile app in all 50 states. It does not require you to make a large, upfront deposit. 

Please note - the Self Credit Builder Account does not provide immediate access to funds. So if you need loan funds immediately, please consider a different option. 

Remember! It’s important to maintain active credit accounts with positive payment history to maintain or improve your credit score. So once you finish your Self account, be sure to continue building credit through either another Self loan or other credit-building option. 

For more information on how to build credit responsibly, please visit our “Simple Guide to Building Credit.”

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