Self Lender Review 2022

Self, formerly known as Self Lender, is a financial services company that provides two distinct products aimed at assisting customers with poor or no credit. Its flagship product, the Credit Builder Account, allows you to receive a credit-building loan in the form of a certificate of deposit (CD) that matures once your payments are completed. In addition, the company provides a credit-building credit card. These products are available in conjunction with robust mobile and online account management services. In this Self Lender review, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of their credit-builder account, also known as a Self credit builder loan. Let us tell you a little bit about the company before we get into the Self Lender review. 

Self Lender Review

About Self Lender

Self is a fin-tech (financial technology) startup that helps you build credit. This is especially useful if you have no credit or bad credit history. This happens with a credit-builder account backed by the FDIC-approved financial institutions with which they collaborate. What is self credit builder? A credit-builder account, also known as a Self credit builder loan, is a small loan that you take out in your name. Instead of disbursing the funds directly to you, Self keeps them in the form of a secured loan by depositing your money in a CD (certificate of deposit). 

In August 2019, the company changed its name from Self Lender to Self. Although its products and services remained largely unchanged after the rebranding, it soon introduced the Self Visa® Credit Card. Self specializes in credit-building tools that work in tandem with the Credit Builder Account. In this Self Lender Review, we will discuss how the Self app works and how to get a Self credit builder loan.


What Exactly Is A Certificate Of Deposit (Cd)?

A certificate of deposit is a time deposit offered by financial institutions. This certificate is valid for a set time after which you can withdraw your funds and earn additional interest. When compared to money market or savings accounts, they pay higher than average interest rates. They are also one of the most secure savings vehicles available from banks. They release the funds to you once the initial loan is paid off with on-time monthly payments over 12 or 24 months. 

What distinguishes this account is that they report on-time monthly payments to all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Essentially, with the Self credit builder loan, you will be rebuilding your credit without the need for a second loan or line of credit. Instead, you will be receiving payments on a small secured personal loan that you made to yourself. Isn’t that cool? Self provides a do-it-yourself approach to credit repair. 

Using this Self Lender review as a DIY approach to credit improvement is a sure way to avoid paying exorbitant fees to improve your credit. 


Is The Self Lender App Genuine?

The Self app is, in fact, genuine. You can use the app to access your Self credit builder loan account and check the status of your account at any time. Security and privacy are also important to the company. Making use of multiple layers of data encryption. Regardless of how fantastic the app is, you must understand how Self works. Self is a completely legitimate credit-building company that has assisted many people with poor or no credit. However, this does not mean that its offerings are without flaws. 

While using a credit-building service like Self Lender will almost certainly improve your credit score and history, the actual impact will vary from person to person. This is somewhat understandable given that not everyone’s credit situation is the same. Self’s loan interest rates can be a little high for all of the benefits it provides. Although this may not come as a surprise given that Self customers typically have poor credit, these APRs can still have a significant impact. More specifically, Self’s APRs range from 15.65% to 15.97% as of August 2020.

When you open an account with Self, you should expect to manage it entirely through the company’s online and mobile platforms. Both online and mobile accounts have the same features, so you can use whichever works best for you. Both Apple and Android users can download the Self mobile app. Check your Credit Builder Account balance and savings progress, open a Self Visa® Credit Card, set up automatic monthly payments, and more. Current and former Self Lender customers appear to be very pleased with these mobile apps. 

More than 40,000 Self Lender reviews by users on the Apple app store give the iOS app a 4.9-star rating (out of 5). The Android version of the app has received a 4.8-star rating out of a possible 5-star rating from nearly 20,000 Google Play store reviews.


How Does the Self-Builder Account Work?

When a Self credit-builder account is opened, the consumer agrees to the terms of service with the financial institution that Self has matched them with. After that, you can make monthly deposits into the account. As previously stated, funds in the account are deposited into a certificate of deposit, which is then returned to you at the end of the term via check or direct deposit, depending on your preference. On your behalf, Self will report on-time payments to all three major credit bureaus. Your secured loan will appear on your credit report within 30-60 days. 

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Most customers who have used the Self-report an improvement in their credit score in as little as three months. The account’s lifetime can range from 12 to 24 months, depending on the monthly payments you select. As a result, your credit score will continue to rise as you make on-time monthly payments.

  • “Activation cost” refers to the one-time, non-refundable administrative fee required to open the credit builder account.
  • “Your total cost” refers to successful on-time payments for the duration of your Self credit builder loan, as well as your one-time non-refundable activation fee.
  • “You get at the end” refers to the amount of money you will receive at the end of your loan term if you make on-time payments. This figure excludes the interest you earn on the CD, which is less than the interest you pay on the loan.


What Is The Cost Of The Self Credit-Builder Account?

They charge a one-time non-refundable administrative fee of $9 to use their credit-builder account. You can then decide how much you want to pay each month to help you rebuild your credit. For example, you can start with as little as $25 per month to save $520 over 24 months. For those who want to establish credit quickly, there are options to pay $35, $48, or $150 per month over a 12-month term loan. This translates into a larger Self credit builder loan. Additional product examples can be found in the image below. 

For the most up-to-date pricing options, visit The annual percentage rate (APR) for all accounts is lower than the interest rate charged by many other creditors, including auto and credit cards. Because you have the option to pay off your account early without penalty, you have complete control over the amount of interest you pay. The FDIC backs all deposit account certifications up to $250,000 in total (See FDIC disclosure in footer).


How to Set Up a Self Account

The ability to open a Self account is determined by the following requirements. To be eligible, you must:

  • You must have a valid social security number.
  • A checking account or prepaid debit card is required.
  • Legal status in the United States
  • You must also be over the age of 18.
  • There is no minimum income requirement for opening an account.

If you have a credit history, you may be required to answer some verification questions based on it to verify your identity. If you have no credit history, you may need to take extra steps to manually verify your identity. All of this will be explained to you during the application process.


Self Visa® Credit Card

Self Lender has also launched a Visa card as an additional tool for credit building. It is a secured credit card, with a portion of your savings progress ($100 or more) as collateral. This credit card’s current APR is 23.99%. Based on the Prime Rate, this APR will fluctuate with the market. To apply for a Self Visa Credit Card, you must already have an open credit-builder account and the following in place:

  • 3 on-time monthly payments
  • You have at least $100 in savings.
  • Your account is currently in good standing.


Opening a Self Visa Credit Card

It is simple to apply for a Self Visa Credit Card. You can set a credit card limit based on your progress in your credit-builder account. The good news is that because you already have a Self credit-builder account, you don’t need another credit check! You also don’t need any additional funds upfront because your savings progress secures your card and establishes your limit. You will then need to confirm your address to ensure that the card is delivered to the correct location. 

When you receive your card, you must activate it before you can use it. To keep track of your credit-building progress, keep a close eye on your spending and pay your bills on time every month. Credit accounts in good standing may be eligible for credit limit increases over time. Furthermore, you can use your card anywhere! In the United States, Visa credit cards are accepted.


The Advantages (Benefits) Of Using Self Credit Builder

One of the primary advantages of Self Lender is the ability to improve your credit score. According to Experian, your ability to make on-time payments to any creditors you owe is the most influential item on your credit report that affects your overall score. By reporting to all three credit bureaus monthly, your credit score may arise as you make on-time monthly payments into a CD, which you will receive at the end of the term you have chosen. This is a novel way to improve your credit score without making a large financial investment.

Regardless of your past, Self Lender is an opportunity to improve your credit in preparation for a future life event, such as purchasing a home or a new car. A higher credit score allows you to access more traditional financial products. You can also save thousands of dollars in interest over time. Other advantages of using Self include 24/7 access via a smartphone app and an online account that can be accessed from anywhere there is internet access.

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As previously stated in this Self Lender Review, you will be able to open your Self Visa Credit Card. It doesn’t get any easier than that, with a FAQ page and additional customer support available if necessary. The bottom line is that it is a simple tool for improving your financial health.


The Drawbacks of Using Self Lender 

In this Self Lender Review, we will explore one of the major disadvantages of using the Self app. And this is the cost of the fees (one-time administrative and interest fees) that you will have to pay. Furthermore, you will not be able to receive the funds until your Self credit builder loan matures or you have made all of your agreed-upon payments. When it comes to the Self Visa Credit Card, your limit is determined by the amount you have saved.

The APR is also high, standing at 23.99%. As you use this card to build and improve your credit, it’s a good idea to plan to pay off your balance in full each month. When considering a Self credit builder loan, make sure to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of this Self Lender review.


How Do Secured Credit Cards Compare to Self?

Secured credit cards, in addition to credit-building loans, can help you build or repair your credit score. These cards are referred to as “secured” because your credit limit is usually backed by a deposit you make with the credit card company before receiving your card. This is done to protect the credit card company if you default on your account. However, Self’s Credit Builder Account outperforms secured cards. Unlike secured card issuers, Self Lender does not require you to deposit before your account is activated. 

The Self Visa® Credit Card also does not require a deposit because you can use the value in your Credit Builder Account as collateral. These benefits could be extremely useful for someone with a low credit score who does not have the capital to back a secured card. In terms of interest rates, Self’s APRs are typically lower than those of most secured credit cards.

Purchase APRs associated with secured cards are typically 20% or higher, whereas Self’s current APRs are closer to 15%. This should come as no surprise, as card companies are simply trying to protect themselves from a riskier situation.


Is The Self Credit Builder A Good Option For Me?

This Self Lender review can assist you in determining whether it is appropriate for your financial situation. Many people who are trying to avoid debt or live a more minimalist lifestyle may appreciate the fact that their money is being saved in a CD and will be returned to them. This is more appealing than a frivolous purchase they didn’t want to begin with. There’s a reason Marie Kondo is so popular: surrounding yourself with useless items stinks. A Self account is also not a good idea if you intend to use it as or in place of an emergency fund. 

Funds are not available immediately, so if you need quick cash for an unexpected expense, it is best to build one first before pursuing this. Customers have left a glowing Self Lender review online, which may make some sceptical, but we are convinced that they are a financial product seeking to help others. They acknowledge that people are being exploited as a result of their poor credit.

As a result, they intend to turn the financial industry upside down. This approach of prioritizing people over profits gives off the impression that they’re more than just a number at a large corporation.


How Much Can You Do to Improve Your Credit Score?

According to Self Lender, most credit scoring agencies use your payment history to account for 35% of your credit score. This is why the company’s two products – the Credit Builder Account and the Self Visa® Credit Card – have the potential to be so beneficial to you. For starters, Self will not perform a hard credit pull when you open an account, which is beneficial for those with poor credit. Once your account is open and payments are being made, Self will report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).

Your Credit Builder Account should appear on your credit report within one to two months. Also, don’t be concerned if you don’t see “Self” on your credit report; the company is sometimes listed as a “secured instalment loan” from one of the bank’s partners. All of this should have a significant impact on your credit score, but significant changes may take up to three months to take effect. However, because everyone’s credit situation is different, the results from Self can vary. 

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More specifically, if you make late payments to Self or inefficiently manage your outside accounts, the overall benefits of its products may be completely negated. Furthermore, for those looking to pay off their Self accounts early, the cumulative effect of on-time payments may be significantly reduced. Credit bureaus prefer to see people make consistent payments over long periods, so shortening the term of your account may limit your potential upside.


Why Is It Critical To Improve Your Credit Score?

Remember this when it comes to improving your credit: Your credit score is the most important tool you have when it comes to your financial health. Why? Because anyone, from a landlord to an employer, can use the results of your credit report to deny you opportunities, the deciding factor is solely based on your previous financial mistakes, which are reflected in your report. You are vulnerable to subprime financial products and services if your credit score is low. These goods and services will set you back thousands of dollars in fees and interest. 

Banks will take advantage of your poor credit because they know you have few options. As a result, they will have more money. If your credit score is low enough, you may be unable to open an account with that financial institution, let alone qualify for financing from many others. One of the reasons why “Buy Here, Finance Here!” car lots are so popular is because of this. Another reason for the rise of payday loans and check-cashing services with exorbitant fees is this. It’s not just about having less-than-ideal financing options for major life purchases like a home or car. 

Even if you are not looking to buy, a low credit score can cost you housing. Many landlords now conduct background checks that include your credit report and score. If you are a financial liability, someone else may come in and take your place simply because they have shown they can pay their bills on time. Isn’t that painful? It does not end there. Utility companies may require a large deposit upfront. This is primarily due to apprehension that you will skip out when a bill is due. The point is that your credit score is more important than you realize.

While many of us may need to repair or even build our credit, there is still hope. In terms of how simple it is to repair your credit, there are numerous tools and options available. Self is one of the companies that is paving the way.



We hope that this Self Lender review can assist you in determining whether it is right for you. If you want to build or reestablish your credit, the self credit builder may be a good option for you. It may be a tool to help you achieve the credit score you deserve, with various plans to fit all budgets, access to FDIC-backed banks, and an easy online platform. Overall, Self offers those with poor credit a fantastic opportunity to improve their credit score and habits. 

The ability to open a credit-building account with no upfront cash is also a very appealing benefit. While Self’s APRs can be a little high, if you manage your account correctly and avoid extra fees, you will be able to recoup the majority of your money when your CD account is paid off.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Exactly Is Self?

Self is a financial technology company with the mission of assisting people in building credit, particularly those who are new to credit or do not have access to traditional financial products.

How Do I Pay Off My Self Visa® Credit Card?

Payments for your Self Visa® Credit Card can be made by logging into your account and going to the “Make a Payment” section. Once there, you can make a one-time payment or set up AutoPay with your saved payment methods. Payments can only be made with a linked bank account or debit card. Remember that if you pay with a debit card, you will be charged an expedited payment fee of $0.30 + 2.99%.

How Do I Apply For The Self Visa® Credit Card?

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a secured credit card through Self:

  • Have a Credit Builder Account that has been active for at least 3 months.
  • Have accumulated at least $100 in savings in your Credit Builder Account
  • Maintain a good standing in your Credit Builder account.

Please keep in mind that meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee you will be offered a credit card.

Is There Such A Thing As A Self-Banking Account?

No. Self does not currently provide traditional banking services such as checking or savings accounts. To use Self’s credit-building tools, you must have a bank account or a debit card with which to make payments. 

Is There Such A Thing As A Self-Banking Account?

No. Self does not currently provide traditional banking services such as checking or savings accounts. To use Self’s credit-building tools, you must have a bank account or a debit card with which to make payments. 

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Martin Uwakwe

As an SEO Strategist, Web Analytics Expert, and Content Developer with over 7 years of experience, I'm passionate about leveraging data-driven insights to optimize online visibility, drive organic traffic, and boost search rankings. My track record includes successfully optimizing and analyzing hundreds of e-commerce websites, managing multi-million-dollar marketing budgets for maximum ROI, and crafting engaging content that resonates with audiences. With proficiency in SEO, data analysis, web optimization tools, and content creation, I'm dedicated to helping businesses thrive in the digital landscape.