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LAST UPDATED: November 27th, 2023

Self, formerly known as Self Lender, is a venture-backed credit builder startup based in Austin, Texas that is committed to helping consumers build their credit and savings. The company’s banking partners include Sunrise Banks, N.A., Lead Bank, and SouthState Bank. 

Self’s Credit Builder Account functions like an installment loan, but you don’t need a credit score to qualify and there is no hard pull on your credit when you apply. You can choose from one of four credit builder plans to fit your goals and budget, and as you make on-time payments your activity is reported to the three main credit bureaus. Each plan includes free credit monitoring, ensuring that you can see how your credit is improving over time.

Continue reading to learn more about this credit monitoring company, or jump down to read Self reviews from real customers.


The Good

  • Free Credit Monitoring 
  • Credit Builder Account
  • Credit Builder Calculator
  • Referral Bonus
  • Scholarship
  • Credit Resources

Free Credit Monitoring

Self offers credit monitoring on a regular basis and a free yearly credit report with a general range of a person’s credit score, Experian Vantage Score 3.0. This free credit monitoring service allows customers to monitor their credit and build savings.

To take advantage of this service, a client needs to be enrolled in a Self Credit Builder Account, be a valid permanent U.S. resident with a physical U.S. residence, be at least 18 years old, have a social security number, phone number, and email address.

Credit Builder Account

A Self Credit Builder Account is a small loan held in a certificate of deposit (CD) account for a loan term of 24 months in an FDIC-insured bank account.

Each month, the client pays set loan amounts, which is held in the account, and each payment is reported to all three credit bureaus. By paying on time each month, clients can build a positive credit history and prove to financial institutions that they can borrow responsibly by showing they can successfully avoid making a late payment.

It's important for consumers to know that a repayment will be reported as a late payment if it is not received within 30 days of the due date.

The savings account is always accruing interest. After 24 months, it unlocks savings minus interest and fees. Funds arrive in 10-14 business days.

Clients can choose if they want to start paying off their accounts or close their accounts early for a less than $1.00 fee.

Credit Builder Calculator

Prospective Credit Builder Account holders can utilize the calculator to determine the total savings amount they want to take out.

This helpful tool shows how much the administrative fee, monthly payment, and yearly total interact based on the amount selected for one of the variables.

Referral Bonus

All Self account holders can refer friends and family to the company and earn a $10 check for each referral’s first successful credit builder account payment.


The company demonstrates a commitment to college students by offering an annual scholarship of $1,000 to a full-time student enrolled in a two-year, four-year, or graduate program in business, finance, entrepreneurship, computer science, economics, accounting, or mathematics.

Credit Resources

Self offers a variety of educational credit-specific resources that can be found on its website.

Consumers can learn about credit, credit history/payment history, credit limits, the difference between poor credit and good credit, credit scores and reports, how to build credit, and more.

Additionally, Self offers information that helps clients learn about its financial products, how to handle money, how to make a loan repayment, and so on. 

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The Bad

  • No SMS Alerts
  • Single Bureau Monitoring

No SMS Alerts

While Self does alert clients via email if there is a major credit report change, the company does not currently offer text message alerts. Without text message alerts, consumers may miss an important credit check or credit reporting update.

Single Bureau Monitoring

Self appears to only provide free credit monitoring for customers' Experian credit reports. Many other credit monitoring services monitor credit reports from all three major agencies.

Monitoring credit reports from all three reporting agencies allows customers to more easily keep track of their credit reports and scores. 


The Bottom Line

Self provides financial products including free credit monitoring services and excellent credit building plans at an affordable cost.

Additionally, Self offers a scholarship, a referral bonus, and credit resources that cover topics like payment history and how to build your credit.

Unfortunately, Self does not appear to provide text alerts and does not monitor credit reports from all three major credit bureaus. 

However, this company is a good one for consumers to consider as it offers the convenience of utilizing both credit monitoring and credit building services through one account.

Though the Credit Builder Account product is considered an installment loan, it’s not traditional in that clients cannot spend the loan amounts immediately. Instead, clients can think of each monthly payment as a money payment to themselves — and an easy way to build good credit when they repay the loan on time.

Each on-time loan repayment is reported on a monthly basis to the three major credit bureaus. 

If you are looking for a free one-bureau credit monitoring service and a way to rebuild your credit/improve your credit, Self might be a good option.

Additionally, it is encouraged that you take the time to read several Self reviews if you wish to obtain a more in-depth view of the company's program and credit monitoring services. 


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28 Reviews

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mary martin Bossier City, LA

At nearly 45 years old I realized that what I had been told about getting credit cards being the devil's work LOL was not true! You need credit cards to build credit and self was the first one I started with with their credit building opportunity and after my two years was up with them I received a payout and was able to pay off my credit card through my payout plus get extra money added to my account and a super boost in my credit score each and every single month! Thanks to self, I now am able to have multiple credit cards and of course stay responsible with them and follow guidelines talk to me by self and will continue to build my credit to an excellent score! When I began trying to build credit it was below poor but now it is above average and on its way up to good and excellent thanks to self!

2 months ago

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Paulette M. Euclid, OH

Since joining Self Lender in March of this year, my Credit Score has ESCALATED 125 Points which is beyond my wildest expectations!! By the grace of God I was surfing through the internet looking for ways to improve my credit score and I happened upon Self Lender, although at first a little apprehensive and hesitant I took a leap of Faith and joined this amazing credit builder along with the ability to save and I’m so happy that I did! I took their advice on taking care of the negative marks on my credit report and applying for a Secure Credit Card and I’m still taking positive steps in the right direction to continually improving my Credit Score that Self Lender has suggested by supplying me with updates on my credit report. My future was appearing very bleak but now it’s looking very bright all thanks to God and his remarkable supplier service Self Lender their one of a kind and I’m advising and referring my family and friends to join as well!

5 years ago

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Mellissa Clark Palm Bay, FL

When I first tried self, I was not aware that is a self builder account, but once I got into the swing of paying every month and seeing my credit score go up it was totally worth it. Not to mention at the end of my term I was able to receive a nice chunk of change that I had saved up.

9 months ago

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Dani J. Westmont, IL

I began using Self Lender 3 months ago and the process was quick and simple to setup on their website. I make my monthly payments on time with no problems and my credit score has increased already. I started out with a score of 597 and as of today it’s at 657. I’m very impressed and hope to continue to see my score rise. I appreciate Self-Lender and wish I had used it sooner.

5 years ago

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Amanda George IL

I have been using self to help build my credit for about 7 months. I liked it at first, but now(around the 4 month mark) there were always technical problems with it, or it would not show updates scores and other information. Customer service is hard to get a hold of. I have tried to reach out via email multiple times and never heard back. Once my trial runs out I will be cancelling. They are good at helping you but you're paying for something where you have to do all the work. They don't give you what they advertise.

7 months ago

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Jermaine Williams Brooklyn, NY

I love Self Lender, It allowed met to save money and even through I had to cancel my account early they did it without a problem. While using Self Lender my credit score went up about 50 points. I plan on opening another Self Lender account within a few weeks. Top level customer service as well.

5 years ago

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Annette seals El Paso, TX

Took a few months to start seeing it on my credit just like they said I don’t have anything negative to say payments are auto drafted every month if I forget to make a payment have 3 payments to go then I would like to try again I mainly wanted it because I’m bad at saving but good at paying bills so it’s nice to have that to look forward to do with it when I get it back..

5 years ago

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Jeremy Summa Inverness, FL

I have been using self for 4 months now and my credit is consistently raising. After 3 months you can get a credit card and borrow from your own money.

8 months ago

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Keisha Mesa, AZ

The self lender product is exactly what it says it is,, and does exactly what it says it will do! It was an easy, affordable way to invest in myself and raise my credit score.

5 years ago

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Channel estremera Somerdale, NJ

Nothing to loose everything to gain self lender boost my score up 40 points within 60 days 2 months later went up another 10 , and at the end of my 12 months I get my money back I recomend this company 💯%

5 years ago

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Danalhy Chesterton, IN

Self lender was exactly that I was looking for. Just 25 dollars to get started! Totally doable and my credit score really jumped up to the high 600 in just 3 payments. Highly recommended

5 years ago

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Jenicia Dalmida Fort Lauderdale, FL

Self lender, along with other wise financial decisions, has helped me improve my credit score from the low 500 to high 600 in less than a year. The automatic payments and monthly updates has also helped me to stay focused and ensure that my payments remain on time.

5 years ago

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Ashley Starnes Rockville, CT

I have had a great experience. My credit score has gone up about 40 points in 5 months, payments are easy and on time, and I definitely reccomend this to anyone who can't get a credit card like me.

5 years ago

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Kiara Washington Richmond, VA

To be totally honest self lender has been a great help in helping me repair my credit! 4 months after having self lender My score has increased by 50 points! I only wish the app had more features for managing my account, but all in all a great way to increased your score gradually!

5 years ago

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Amadou Fall Hollywood, FL

I’ve been pretty happy with Self Lender. My credit has come out of the abyss thanks to it and still working upwards. Process for payment is great as well, so I have absolutely no complaints.

5 years ago


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Lydia Falatea Riverton, UT

I am almost at a year of my first time using SelfLender. I love it. My credit jumped after my very first payment and has been at a steady climb since. Definitely a great start to helping me regain control of my credit.

4 years ago

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George Seattle, WA

Making on-time payments along with my self-lender account increased my score 50 points within just a few months and its continuing to improve. I love it.

5 years ago

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Charlie Betz Riverview, MI

After bankruptcy this should be a high priority. Self Lender helps repair the damage as promised and costs next to nothing in the end.

5 years ago

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Desiré Bass Raleigh, NC

I can see it helping my credit alreay, and helping me save money in the end. I am extremely excited and recommend this to everyone.

5 years ago

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Ryan Brooklyn, NY

A great way for someone with no credit to build a score and learn financial responsibility.

5 years ago

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Sonja Babylon, NY

My credit score has improved over 40 points within the six months I’ve opened my account.

5 years ago

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Kimberly Jacksonville, FL

I seen an increase in my credit score after 2 months.I tell all of my friends about self lender.

5 years ago

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Shar Los Angeles, CA

Provided an easy way for me to increase my credit score and save money at the same time

5 years ago

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Kelsie ❤️❤️ Batesville, AR

It’s been amazing just takes some time to show improvement. That’s the only down side. But nothing comes easy.

5 years ago

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Robert Walker Fort Lauderdale, FL

Great staff and product for rebuilding your credit after any disaster in your financial life.

5 years ago

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Rafael Estrada Kissimmee, FL

I absolutely love selflender !!! Helped me raise my score and save up money. Thanks!

5 years ago

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Debreal Scott Jacksonville, FL

This shows as a debt on my credit report when I'm using my own funds. Then my score is not increasing as much. It says my scores increase not because of self lender

5 years ago

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Justin alleyne Red Bank, NJ

Very prompt great service I recommend to anyone

5 years ago