self lender

How to build your credit with Self Lender

By: Heather Hanks Jan. 24, 2019

Everyone knows how important it is to have good credit. Most people think that the only way to build credit is to apply for a credit card and make timely payments. That’s one way to do it. However, there are other ways to build your credit that don’t involve taking out another credit card.

Self Lender allows you to apply for a credit builder account with a payment plan that works for you. After one or two years of making payments, you will have established a credit history that can be used to help you take out a bigger loan or quality for beefy purchases. Here is how Self Lender can help you build your credit if you have a history of no or bad credit.

If you don’t have credit, then it will be hard to find anyone to extend a loan to you. This makes it difficult to build credit. Self Lender doesn’t pull your credit history to determine whether or not they will extend you a loan. You’re guaranteed a credit building loan no matter what your credit history is. This makes it an ideal service for people who have no credit or who have a history of bad credit.

Who Is Self Lender?

Self Lender is a company that offers credit building loans. According to the company’s CEO and co-founder, James Garvey, Self Lender was designed to provide an easy way for people to establish a credit history for the first time. Garvey noted that credit building loans are proven to help you build your credit history. Self Lender allows you to apply for a credit building loan through an online company without having to go directly through a bank or credit union.

Self Lender provides services for customers in all 50 states. Unlike other loans, the company allows you to build credit without putting money down upfront. Without Self Lenders, consumers would need to find different ways to build credit, such as applying for a secured loan or asking a family member to cosign for you.

Self Lender will provide you with a loan regardless of your credit history. The catch is that you don’t have access to your funds until the loan is paid off. The purpose for this is to help you build your credit without putting you at risk of falling behind on payments or acquiring debt. It’s an ideal service for people who have no credit.

Self Lender Loan Options

Self Lender offers one and two-year loan terms.

You’ll need to determine how much you want your monthly payment to be before applying. The lowest payment plan possible is $25 per month for two years.

This loan option comes with a $9 administrative fee that is nonrefundable. This amount can be up to $15 depending on the type of loan you choose. After you have completed making payments on your loan, you’ll get $525. You’ll also get an interest rate of 0.1% APY. This comes out to well under a dollar throughout two years. By the end of your loan term, you will have paid $609 with an annual percentage rate of 14.92%.

Your other loan option is a one year plan. You can choose from payments of $48, $89 or $150 per month. These higher rates have slightly higher administrative fees of around $15. Self Lender states that APRs for these loans do not exceed more than 16%.

Choosing a larger loan with a shorter term will not help you build your credit any faster. But you’ll be saving money when it comes to your interest payments. You’ll want to pick a payment plan that works for you. Keep in mind that a late payment could hurt your credit and defeat the purpose of using a credit building loan in the first place.

At the end of your one or two year term and all of your payments are made, your money will be released to you. Self Lender encourages you to use this money as an emergency fund or put it in a savings account. Storing it away in a higher yield certificate or at one of Self Lender’s partner banks is a good way to save money.


While you are making payments, you’ll have free access to credit monitoring and a vantage score provided by TransUnion. Use this to track your credit’s progress and watch your score go up. Remember that Self Lender reports your activity to the three major credit reporting companies. If you don’t have credit, then you should start to see your credit build after six months of making payments. Your vantage score is usually generated quicker than this.

If you want to close your account before paying off the loan, then you can access the money you have in your account. However, you won’t have access to the money you still owe. You will also miss out on the opportunity to continue to build your credit. You have a 15 day grace period when it comes to making payments. Paying after the 15-day mark makes you subject to a 5% fee of your scheduled monthly payment. Your late payments are not reported to the credit bureaus until they are 30 days late.

Explore and discover

However, if you continue to make late payments, Self Lender can close your account. Your loan will then be reported as “defaulted” on your credit report. You’ll get the amount of your loan deposit without the fees and the amount you still owe when your account is closed. Remember that late payments can affect your credit score and a default is even worse. Practicing timely payments is important. If you attempt to withdraw your money early before your term is up, then you will skip out on 90 days of interest. This works itself out to be a few pennies.

Self Lender PROS & CONS

  • Allows you to build credit if you have none or bad credit
  • Self Lender offers free credit monitoring
  • Choose from one or two year loans with different rates to suit your needs
  • Your activity is reported to the three major credit reporting bureaus to help boost your score
  • You will generate a credit score after six months of making payments
  • Self Lender does not pull your credit score to determine if you are eligible for a loan
  • Self Lender encourages you to use the money you invest in a savings account
  • You have a 15 day grace period when it comes to late payments
  • Self Lender won’t report your late payments until you are 30 days late
  • Low interest rates
  • Funds are only released to you after payment term (one or two years)
  • Non-refundable administrative fee of up to $15 depending on your term
  • Late fees are 5% of your scheduled monthly payment and will be reported
  • Self Lender can “default” your loan if you continuously make monthly payments

Self Lender vs Other Ways To Build Credit

Self Lender isn’t the only way to build your credit, but it’s a smart option if you don’t want to take out another line of credit. Here is how Self Lender compares to other credit-building options.


Secure loans

a secure loan is different from a credit building loan in two major ways. First, you don’t need money upfront with a credit-building loan, but you do with a secured loan. Secured loans have you pay an up-front deposit, and this amount is usually the amount of your credit limit.


Authorized user

you can ask to be an authorized user on one of your relative’s credit card to help build credit. Before signing up, be sure that the credit card company you are working with reports to the three major credit reporting bureaus to ensure your credit goes up.



you can establish credit by taking out a loan and asking a friend or family member to cosign for you. This allows you to access a loan and make timely payments while the bank you borrow from holds you AND your co-signer accountable. Keep in mind that asking someone to cosign for you puts their credit in jeopardy if you fail to make payments on time.

The good news is that you don’t have to decide between using one of the above forms of building credit when you sign up with Self Lender. You can do both.

Having installment and revolving credit can help you build credit faster as long as you continue to make timely payments on all loans.

Keep in mind that a Self Lender credit building loan is not free. There is no money due up front, but you will end up paying an interest fee. Self Lender then puts your money into an account. You won’t be able to access this money until the loan is fully paid. It’s a bit like a forced savings account, but you could think of it as a controlled way to save money and build credit at the same time. Your alternative is to take out a secured loan and that can take up to $200 to get started.

Also remember that your credit building loan won’t help improve your credit if you are failing to meet your additional payments. For example, if you have a credit card with another company and you fail to make timely payments, this can negatively affect your credit and Self Lender won’t be able to do much to help you. It’s even worse if you default on these lines of credit. So it’s up to you to handle all you payments to ensure you get the best possible results Self Lender has to offer.

Leave a comment


CreditNervana promises to keep our information as accurate and up-to-date as possible. However, you should always consult a financial advisor for specific questions about personal or business finances and investment opportunities, especially if you are looking in your area. Working with a trained professional who is familiar with your case is a safe and guaranteed way to make the best investment decision possible. Please review our terms and conditions before making any decision based on the information we provide. Financial institutions are constantly changing. Because of this, it’s a good idea to cross check the information you read here with any company you are considering working with.


Send us message

Copyright 2017 CREDITNERVANA © All Rights Reserved