Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card Review
Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- This card does not require a credit check for approval, so a hard inquiry will not appear on your credit report.
- Choose your credit limit. You select your credit limit, which is based on the portion of your savings that you choose to act as collateral.
- A mix of credit products will show up on your credit report, since both the loan and the credit card will be reported.
- To earn the credit card, you must first open a Self Credit Build account. You would then need to make at least three monthly payments on time, save a minimum of $100, and keep the account in good standing. Once done you'll be eligible for the Self Visa® Credit Card. In the long term this isn't a bad thing, but if you're looking for something immediate, a more traditional secured card may be a better option for you.
Qualifying for an unsecured credit card without an established credit history or with damaged credit can be a challenge. That’s where the Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card can come in. Part credit builder savings account, part secured credit card, it can put you on track toward good credit while you build savings and have a credit card to use for safe and convenient purchasing.
The Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card is a combination of two products: the company’s Credit Builder savings account and a unique type of secured credit card. With it you can ensure that money is set aside for the future, help develop a good credit score, and have a credit card that you can use to make transactions.
It begins with you opening a Credit Builder savings account. This account is designed to help people build or improve their credit scores via a small installment loan that is funded with your deposits. Instead of receiving the money you borrow, Self puts the funds into a locked FDIC-insured CD account.
You would then need to make at least three monthly payments on time, save a minimum of $100, and keep the account in good standing. Once done you'll be eligible for a Self Visa® Credit Card.
With the credit card, you select your credit limit, which is based on the portion of your savings that you choose to act as collateral. So if you have saved $500 and want to have a $300 credit limit, that amount would act as security while the remaining $200 would not be collateralized. Self reports all payments to TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, so as long as you manage the account responsibly, you will work towards building your credit rating.
When your loan is at a zero balance, you will have access to the money you borrowed, minus any associated interest and fees.
- No fees whatsoever. No late fee, foreign transaction fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee.
- Variable APRs range from 13.74% - 27.74%
- Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
- 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away
- 2% - 10% cash back at select merchants
- $300 - $10,000 credit limits
- No credit score? No problem. If eligible, we'll create your Cash Score instead.
- See if you're pre-approved within minutes without impacting your credit score.
- Build credit alongside hundreds of thousands of Petal card members.
- Petal reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
- No deposits required
- Card issued by WebBank, Member FDIC
To get the Self Visa® Credit Card you need to be at least 18 years old, and be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. You will also need a bank account and Social Security Number.
You also have to open a Credit Builder Account with Self. There are four options from which to choose. Each has a one-time, non-refundable administrative fee of $9. That fee plus interest is deducted from the final amount you borrowed and save:
- $25 monthly commitment - Requires $25 a month deposit for 24 months. At the end of the term you will receive $520.
- $35 monthly commitment - Requires $35 a month deposit for 24 months. At the end of the term you will receive $724.
- $48 monthly commitment - Requires $48 a month deposit for 12 months. At the end of the term you will receive $539.
- $150 monthly commitment - Requires $150 a month for 12 months. At the end of the term you will receive $1,663.
After you decide on the right Credit Builder account for you, you would open the account and start to fund it.
Every month you will make the payments, which will be deposited into the account for the term you chose. As long as you make the payments on time and at least in the agreed-upon payments, the account should be in good standing. You can get the credit card at any point after accumulating at least $100 and when a minimum of three on-time payments are recorded.
The benefits of the Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card include:
- There is no credit check, so a hard inquiry will not appear on your credit report
- You don’t have to put down a large deposit
- The ability to choose your own credit limit
- A mix of credit products will show up on your credit report, since both the loan and the credit card will be reported
- You can use the card anywhere Visa® is accepted
- You can increase your credit limit over time
There are a few downsides to the Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card as well. For example:
- It has an annual fee of $25
- The administrative fee for the loan is $9, for either the 12 or 24 month term
- There is no rewards program, so you won’t be earning cash or points as you charge
There are a few other similar accounts to the Self Visa® Credit Card, so if you’re looking for a secured card designed for people with no or damaged credit histories, these three may be good alternatives.
Self Visa® Credit Card vs. Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
The Chime® Credit Builder Secured Credit Builder Visa® Card does not have an annual fee, and no interest is charged. Your credit limit will be the same as your deposit. It starts with you opening Chime spending account, and you will be able to use the money held in your that account to make your payments. Technically there is no minimum security deposit required, but you need at least $200 to open a Chime checking account, and because you need a Chime checking account to open a credit card account, you could consider the minimum to be $200. Your cash is never locked away.
Therefore, if you're looking for greater flexibility with a deposit right from the beginning, the Chime® Credit Builder Secured Credit Builder Visa® Card might be a more attractive than the Self Visa® Credit Card.
Self Visa® Credit Card vs. Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card
The Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card is an unsecured credit card that was developed for the person who doesn't have a traditional credit score. Instead, it uses other factors to determine qualification, such as your income and the amount you have saved. It also has cash back rewards so you can earn as much as 10% back at select merchants. (Petal credit cards are issued by WebBank, Member FDIC; note that if you have a credit score, it will be reviewed and considered as part of the application process.)
This card comes with no annual or foreign transaction fees, and because it's an unsecured card it does not require a security deposit. Credit limits on Petal® 1 can be anywhere from $300-$5,000. Through its Leap program, cardholders can earn a higher credit limit after six months assuming they make qualifying on-time payments and maintain their credit score within a personalized range.
The Petal® 1 may be the better choice over the Self Visa® Credit Card if you want to avoid paying a security deposit and can prove that you are a good credit risk based on alternative factors.
Self Visa® Credit Card vs. Secured Sable ONE Credit Card
The Secured Sable ONE Credit Card is a rare secured card that offers rewards and perks. It offers up to 2% cash back on select purchases, as well as a dollar-for-dollar match on all the cash back earn at the end of your first year. It also includes cell phone damage protection in the event that your covered cell phone is stolen or damaged when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Sable card, which is a perk that’s unique for even the best unsecured rewards cards.
Your credit limit will be equal to the amount of security you put down, which can be up to $10,000. With responsible use your security deposit may be released to you in as little as four months. The Secured Sable ONE Credit Card may be a good choice over the Self Visa® Credit Card if you have an upfront cash deposit that you can set aside for a few months.
The Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card can be an excellent option if you want to either create or repair your credit rating. The fees are minimal, and you will get the benefit of forced savings with the locked deposit account. That can put you on the road to good financial health as you're increasing your credit score, since both the loan and credit card will be reported to the credit reporting agencies. It offers significant flexibility with the different loan plans, too. With as little as $100 built up in savings, you can get a credit card without having to pass through a credit check. The downside is that the fees can be high without any rewards to balance out the cost.
Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card Compared to Other Cash back Cards
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