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Although having good credit can benefit consumers in numerous ways – such as priming them for eligibility to make major purchases that can improve their lives, such as a car or home – many Americans do not have a good credit score, and in some cases, they have no credit history whatsoever. According to statistics from Experian, 30% of Americans have subprime credit, while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that 26 million people have no credit history and another 19 million have a credit history that has become stale.

But just because you may currently have bad credit, or even no credit, doesn't mean you can't do something about it. The Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card is specifically designed to help people improve their credit or create a new credit history, while allowing users to become accustomed to handling a card and making payments responsibly.

How Does the Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card Work?

The Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card is, effectively, an a installment loan and secured credit card. Typically, to qualify for a secured credit card you would be need to undergo a credit check and then pay a security deposit upfront – often as much as $200 – in order to qualify for the card and establish your line of credit; all of this takes place before you even have the opportunity to begin building a better credit history.

With the Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card, however, you can begin working on your credit before even qualifying for the secured card AND there's no requirement to come up with a lump sum security deposit. Here's how it works:

Qualifying for the secured credit card first requires you to open a credit builder account. After doing so, you must make three consecutive on-time monthly installments of at least $25 per month. Those payments accumulate in a certificate of deposit (CD) and are reported to the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian – in order to help you build a credit history before even having that secured credit card.

Also, as you make installments on the loan, you are effectively making installments toward the security deposit you'll need to secure a line of credit for the Self Secured Visa® Credit Card. As long as you have made at least three on-time monthly payments, have at least $100 saved in your credit builder account and your account is in good standing, you will be eligible to open the secured card. Opening the Self Secured Visa® is not mandatory.

Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card Benefits

In addition to being able to build a good credit history by using the Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card, the card has the following benefits:

  • Choose how much of the cash in your credit builder loan account will be counted toward the credit limit. At least $100 is required to establish your line of credit, but if you want a larger line of credit, just authorize a larger amount be used as your guarantee.
  • No penalty APR
  • No late payment fee on the first late payment made on the card
  • Secure a credit limit increase over time if the account is in good standing
  • As a Visa card, it's accepted anywhere in the United States were Visa credit cards can be used
  • Enjoy the security of paying with a card rather than cash
  • Card activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus and can account for about 75% of users' credit score in the form of payment history, accounts owned and new credit, according to FICO.

Who Can Apply for the Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card?

Since there is no credit check required, anyone at least 18 years old can apply for this card. As long as your initial Self Credit Builder Loan Account is in good standing and meets the eligibility criteria, you automatically qualify to receive the Self Secured Visa® Credit Card. (Eligibility requirements are subject to change).

Is the Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card the Right Choice for You?

Let's face it: Building a credit score back up can be stressful. Even understanding your options can prove a heavy lift.

The Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card works to simplify the process, allowing you to build credit before you even open a credit card and avoid coming up with a lump sum security deposit just to secure the credit line on a secured card. The Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card is an excellent way to get on the road of developing good credit with responsible use and habits. The card is easy to obtain and can help you develop good financial habits you can use when it's time to move on other credit cards or apply for other loans. In all, this card is a good starting point that can help you get where you want to go financially.

*Sample products: A loan with a $25 monthly payment, 24 month term with a $9 admin fee at a 15.92% Annual Percentage Rate with a finance charge of $89; A loan with a $35 monthly payment, 24 month term with a $9 admin fee at a 15.97% Annual Percentage Rate with a finance charge of $125; A loan with a $48 monthly payment, 12 month term with a $9 admin fee at a 15.65% Annual Percentage Rate with a finance charge of $46; A loan with a $150 monthly payment, 12 month term with a $9 admin fee at a 15.91% Annual Percentage Rate with a finance charge of $146. Please refer to www.Self.inc/pricing for the most recent pricing options.

All Credit Builder Accounts made by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, Sunrise Banks, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Subject to ID Verification. Individual borrowers must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security Number are required. All loans are subject to ID verification and consumer report review and approval. Results are not guaranteed. Improvement in your credit score is dependent on your specific situation and financial behavior. Failure to make monthly minimum payments by the payment due date each month may result in delinquent payment reporting to credit bureaus which may negatively impact your credit score. This product will not remove negative credit history from your credit report. All loans subject to approval. All Certificates of Deposit (CD) are deposited in Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Sunrise Banks, N.A., Member FDIC or Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A., Member FDIC.

The Self Visa® Credit Card is issued by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.