Self Lender (SELF) Review: Build Credit and Earn Interest

Nowadays, it seems like people prefer not to have credit cards. 

For you to get one, you have to establish credit. So how do you even get it in the first place? 

What Is Self Lender?

This is where Self Lender comes in. It is a company that helps you build good credit. You take out a small loan and they use it to set up a CD account in your name. Each month, you make payments to pay off that loan and gain access to the CD funds. These monthly payments are then reported to credit bureaus. 

Signing up is free but you will have to pay interest fees. If you are serious about improving your credit, these fees are worth it. 

In summary:

You can use Self Lender as a tool to build savings and credit history. Note that individual credit situations are different and this may not necessarily improve your score. 

Every month, you pay off your loan. Once you have cleared it within the agreed period, the CD funds become available. 

These monthly payments will be reported to credit bureaus. If you pay responsibly, your credit score will improve. 

How It Works

Basically, this is a company that monitors credit for free and also provides a Credit Builder Account. This account entails you giving yourself a low-cost loan. 

It is like making monthly payments to a savings account. At the end of the agreed term, you will get the total amount and a better credit score on top. 

What About Someone with No Credit Cards? 

Someone who has always avoided credit cards because they hate debt may not have credit at all. This means that buying a house or car will be a little difficult for them. 

If this is you, Self Lender may work just fine for you. 

How to Deal with Bad Credit

Other than making your payments on time every month, how else can you improve your credit? 

Self Lender will help.

Here are other options:

  • Become an authorized user for another person’s credit card account.
  • Get a secured card.
  • Report your rent payments (and pay on time). 

Self Lender and Bad Credit

A Credit Builder Account could help you improve your bad credit. Self Lender may not run a hard inquiry check on your credit but they will still need to know whether any of your checking accounts have been fraudulently shut down or gone to Chexsystems.

What to Expect with a Credit Builder Account

You open an account and take out a small loan. A Certificate of Deposit (CD) account will be opened with this loan. You get to choose your CD size.

What you will need:

  • Prepaid card, debit card or bank account
  • Email address
  • Phone number 
  • Social security number


  • 18 years or older
  • Permanent U.S resident

How It Works

Choose your account.

Make payments.

Watch your score go up.

Access your money after the CD term.

Self Lender Fees

You will have to pay activation fees and an interest rate (10.6% to 13.16%). 

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