Last Updated: August 7, 2020
Is your bad or nonexistent credit limiting your financial opportunities?
A credit building loan may be the right solution for you!
In our Self Lender review you will find the following information:
- What is Self Lender and how does it work?
- Everything you need to know about your Self Lender application
- The terms and requirements of Self loans
- Self Lender reviews from 2020
- The pros and cons of a Self credit building loan
- The costs associated with Self loans
- How to contact Self customer service
- Self Lender alternatives
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Self Lender
- Reports to three major credit agencies
- Increases your credit score
- No hard inquiry required
- Friend referral program
- Late payment fees
- Administrative fees
- Missed payments can hurt your score
Self Lender Recap
$25 monthly commitment $35 monthly commitment $48 monthly commitment $150 monthly commitment
12-month or 24-month
Min. Credit Score
Convenience fee of $0.30 + 2.99% if you link a debit card, non-refundable administrative fee of $9, less than $5 for closing your account early, 5% of the scheduled monthly installment amount for a payment that is 15 days+ due
After loan matures and/or all loan payments have been completed
Years in Business
What Is Self Lender?
Self Inc (formerly Self Lender) is a fintech company founded in 2015 and headquartered in Austin, Texas.
The financial service they offer is a credit builder loan.
How Does Self Lender Work?
To take advantage of Self credit building loans, you need to follow these simple steps:
- Create a Self Lender account
- Make monthly payments
Self Lender will report your on-time payments to the three major credit bureaus. This will improve your personal credit score.
Once you have paid out the Self credit builder loan, you will have access to the money you deposited (minus fees and interest).
Who Is Self Lender Best For?
Self Lender is best for people with no credit history and people with a poor credit score. Having a better credit score will increase your chances of loan approval, as well as your chances of getting approved for a credit card with better terms and lower fees.
Getting Started With Self Lender
To get started with a Self Lender loan, visit the official website: self.inc or selflender.com.
Then, click on the ‘Get Started’ button or the ‘Start Building Today’ button.
When creating your Self account, you will be prompted to enter the following information:
- Email address
- First name and last name
You will then receive an email to complete the registration process.
After you sign up, you can select your loan terms and enter your payment information. To verify your identity, you will need to answer some security questions.
Before you start the Self Lender application process, make sure you have read about the terms and requirements. You can find more details about this in the next part of our Self Lender review.
Terms & Requirements
In order to apply for Self loans, you need to meet the following loan requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident
The following is also required:
- Your bank account/ a debit card/ a prepaid card
- A valid email address
- Your phone number
- Your social security number
Note: There is a convenience fee of $0.30 + 2.99% if you link a debit card.
Regarding the payment terms, you can choose between 12-month or 24-month installment loans.
You can pay off the loan and close your account early.
Your account will be FDIC insured.
Self only performs a soft inquiry on your credit report.
Self offers four credit builder account options:
- $25 monthly commitment
- $35 monthly commitment
- $48 monthly commitment
- $150 monthly commitment
Here is an example:
If you choose a 24-month $25 monthly commitment plan, you will need to make 24 payments of $25. You will also be charged a non-refundable administrative fee of $9 and a finance charge. Your total payments would equal $600 and once the fees are deducted you are left with $520.
Note: If a payment is 30 days+ past due, it will be reported as late on your credit report. This could negatively impact your credit score.
Now, let’s see what customers are saying in their Self Lender reviews.
As always, we started off by looking up self.inc reviews on Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs. Unfortunately, it seems that Self Lender does not have a profile on these sites.
So, we went over the Self Lender reviews on their website.
Based on the self.inc reviews, the company has a 4.8-star rating.
The majority of customers note that Self Lender helped with their credit score.
This also allowed them to get approved for credit cards.
The Self Lender reviews also praised the customer service. The representatives were able to sort out issues and complaints.
Customers also appreciated the low monthly payments. With just $25, they were able to greatly increase their credit score.
The negative Self reviews mainly talked about the Self credit loan interest cost and fees. Some customers weren’t aware of all the costs associated with their accounts. In one of the Self credit card reviews, a customer mentioned that they were charged a fee for not using the card. The customer wasn’t aware of the fee, and the non-payment also hurt their credit score.
We also noticed a good number of Self Lender complaints about their policies for non-payment. Customers that found themselves in a tough financial situation tried to unsuccessfully postpone the payments.
And lastly, there were complaints from customers saying that this type of loan didn’t improve their credit score.
Regarding other review sites:
Self Inc is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with a B rating. The Self Lender reviews on BBB point to an aggregate 3.5-star rating for the service.
You can also find Self Lender reviews on Reddit. We encountered some users that tried out this type of loan and claimed it worked. Although they wanted others that initially their credit dropped.
Rates & Fees
These are the costs associated with Self Lending:
- A non-refundable administrative fee of $9
- Annual percentage rate (APR) of around 15%
- 5% of the scheduled monthly installment amount for a payment that is 15 days+ due
- Less than $5 for closing your account early
- An inconvenience fee of $0.30 + 2.99% if you use a debit card
Privacy & Security
To protect your personal information, Self Financial, Inc. encrypts all of your data. You can read more about the privacy and security measures they take here.
Self collects your:
- Personal information (including your Social Security number and driver’s license number),
- Demographic information and
- Usage information (IP address, browser type, etc.).
Self does not sell your information to third parties. Your information may be shared with their affiliates and subsidiaries.
Your information may be used for marketing purposes and business purposes. It can also be used for legal reasons.
To contact Self customer support, click on the ‘Contact Us’ option on their website. You will need to select the category and topic of your issue. If the suggested article doesn’t answer your question, you have the option to send them a message.
Self Lender Alternatives
The main Self Lender competitors are secured credit cards. We will first compare credit building loans with secure credit cards, and then talk about online lenders that provide personal loan services.
Secured Credit Card vs Self Lender
When getting a credit builder loan, you agree to make regular payments for the duration of the loan. After you have paid out the loan, you will have access to the funds. As Self Lender reports to credit bureaus, these payments can increase your credit score. Your payment history makes up over a third (35%) of your credit score.
A secured credit card is another way to build credit — if your payment history is reported to credit bureaus. When applying for a secured credit card you need to put down a deposit. For example, you can put down $200 which will serve as collateral and represents your credit limit. You can get the deposit back if you qualify for a secured credit card, or if you decide to close the account (this depends on the card issuer).
Our article covering the best credit cards of 2020 includes reviews of a few secured credit cards that may interest you.
Self Lender vs BadCreditLoans.com
BadCreditLoans.com is a lending platform that connects borrowers with the best available lenders. As the name suggests, this is a good lending option for you if you are looking for personal loans for bad credit.
For more details, check out our lending platform review of BadCreditLoans.com.
Self Lender vs Guide to Lenders
Guide to Lenders is another marketplace that allows you to borrow money online. There are no credit requirements, as based on the info you provide, the platform will match you with lenders offering personal loans for good credit or bad credit. The catch is that if you have a lower credit score, the estimated annual percentage rate of the loan will be higher.
If you want to find out more about this platform, check out our Guide to Lenders review.
Self Lender vs Even Financial
Even Financial is yet another lending platform that offers unsecured loans for bad credit. As is the case with Guide to Lenders, the lower your score is, the higher the rates will be.
As it was pointed out in many of the Self Lender reviews we encountered, this type of loan allows you to improve your credit score, which allows you to apply for personal loans with lower rates.
For more details on Even Financial, check out our review.
Now, let’s sum up what we liked and didn’t like about Self Lender.
What we liked most is that their products are a good way to establish a credit history or improve your score.
After the loan term ends, you will have some savings and a better credit rating that opens up new loan opportunities for you. You will also be able to qualify for credit cards with better rates.
The only downside is the fees. However, it is to be expected that you will need to pay for this type of service.
A credit builder loan is a good way to avoid using unsecured credit cards which come with high fees. However, if you are interested in another alternative, we have also included some details about unsecured credit cards in our Self Lender review.
Is Self Lender legit?
Yes, Self Financial, Inc. is a legitimate fintech company based in Texas. They are also accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Which bank company does Self use?
The banking partners of Self are Sunrise Banks, N.A., Lead Bank, and Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A.
What is Self credit builder account?
A credit-builder account is basically a credit builder loan. This is a type of installment loan held in a Certificate Deposit in one of Self’s bank partners. The loan is held at the bank until you pay it off.
Does Self immediately give you your loan?
Unlike traditional personal loans, this is a type of loan that you receive after you have paid it off.
How do you qualify for a Self Lender account?
In order to qualify for Self Lender personal loans and start building your credit, you need to be at least 18 and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You also need a valid bank account.
How much does Self Lender raise your credit score?
As each financial situation is different, it is hard to tell how much your score will increase. However, you should note that it takes 6 months to establish credit, if you have no credit history. So, you may need to wait a few months to notice a change. You can use your Self Lender login credentials to view your score.
Can Self Lender hurt your credit?
After taking out a credit builder loan, your score may drop by a few points. In general, new lines of credit can have an impact on your score. By making on-time payments, your score will bounce back.
Is Self Lender safe?
Any personal information you share with Self Financial, Inc. will be encrypted. You can read more about this in the Privacy and Security section of our Self Lender review.