Best for building a credit mix
Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score
The pairing of a secured credit card and a credit builder loan is the one-two punch to jump start your credit building journey.
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First-time credit builders will find an interesting takeoff point with this dual feature credit building tool. You can access a credit card without a credit history or a hard credit check, and you’ll get a head start on building up multiple credit types, also known as the “credit mix” portion of your score, with the credit builder loan.
Recommended Credit Score
If you’re working on obtaining a credit card and you’ve considered self-reporting credit services or credit-builder loans to help your credit score, then the Self – Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card might seem like a convenient one-two combo. By being in good standing after three months of on-time payments and having $100 paid into Self’s Credit Builder savings account, you’ll automatically be eligible for the Secured Visa card — no credit history or “hard” credit check required.
However, its three-month minimum trial period means Self’s secured card isn’t a true “instant approval” credit card. It’s a good option if you can’t provide the upfront deposit for a traditional secured credit card, but like other credit-builder loans, the Self account and card combo might not be the most efficient or cost-effective way to build your credit.
You can qualify for a credit card with no additional security deposit or hard credit inquiry.
Improves the “credit mix” FICO score factor (10 percent) by reporting both loan and card payments, two different credit types.
This tool reports to all three major credit bureaus, making it easy for the bureaus to track your credit building progress.
Provides basic Visa credit card benefits.
Possible to owe both credit card and credit-builder loan interest simultaneously, eating into this tool’s affordability.
The card also charges a $25 annual fee, adding another cost that could be difficult for credit builders or rebuilders to meet.
Secured credit cards typically don’t offer sign-up bonuses or other intro offers, and the Self Secured Visa card and Credit Builder Account are no exception.
Although chasing a sign-up bonus shouldn’t be your priority if you’re trying to build credit, some credit-builder cards offer a chance to earn one. For example, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card’s welcome offer makes it a more enticing deal, as Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of the first year.
Neither the Self Credit Builder Account nor the Secured Visa card earn rewards, which is common among products designed for cardholders with no credit history.
While having no rewards program shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for credit-builders, there are a few credit cards for those with limited credit that do offer rewards. Student credit cards may carry the best rewards and benefits if you can qualify. Otherwise, you might want to reconsider the Discover it® Secured Credit Card for its 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 in combined spending per quarter, then 1 percent) and 1 percent back on other purchases.
You won’t get many extra perks from Self outside the product’s credit-building potential, but you do get a few basic benefits through Visa with the secured card.
The Self credit-builder products set themselves apart by reinforcing an often overlooked aspect of your credit score, your “credit mix.” This factor accounts for 10 percent of your FICO credit score and might be hard to nurture if you’re new to credit. This pairing gives you the opportunity to diversify your credit lines with both a loan and a credit card, which could expedite your credit journey.
Unlike most secured credit cards, the Self Secured Visa card doesn’t require a security deposit upfront. The payments you’ve saved up in Self’s certificate of deposit* (CD) savings account acts as your security deposit and credit limit instead. Due to this set up, the only upfront costs is the $25 annual fee.
Just keep in mind that you’re also paying monthly interest on your credit builder loan, which isn’t necessary for other secured card deposits. This factor also means your credit limit is capped at the amount you’ve contributed to your CD so far. Self will also review your account periodically to grant you unsecured credit limit increases beyond your deposit, but you can’t request these reviews. Self also doesn’t specify how frequently they review your account or how much of a credit limit increase you could receive.
All Visa credit cards — including the Self secured card — come with these basic perks:
It’s important to remember that you’ll be paying any applicable rates and fees for both your credit-builder loan and your secured credit card. You can avoid the costly 26.99 percent variable on the secured card if you don’t carry a balance, but you’ll still owe monthly APR and finance charges on your credit-builder loan.
Please refer to www.Self.inc/pricing for the most recent pricing options. Make sure you read the Self secured card’s terms and conditions carefully beforehand to see how they will impact your journey to a higher score.
Self’s credit-builder loan and secured card combo may complicate the credit-building process with extra costs and restrictions, so it’s easy to see how paying a security deposit for a normal secured card may be better in the long run.
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a popular secured option. The card not only helps people build or rebuild their credit, but it also offers rewards and benefits you typically don’t find with other secured cards. For starters, cardholders earn 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, then 1 percent thereafter) and 1 percent cash back for all other purchases. Discover will also match all cash back earned at the end of the first year, giving consumers an easy windful of extra rewards.
While there is no annual fee with the card, it does require an initial security deposit (starting at $200), which could put it out of reach for some. However, if this added cost is not an obstacle, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers several advantages over the Self-Credit Builder account and Secured Visa card. The main advantages include cash back potential and a generous welcome offer, all while allowing the cardholder to build their credit.
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card only requires an initial deposit of $49 or $99 if the $200 deposit is out of reach. This upfront cost is higher than Self’s $25 annual fee, but could end up being more cost effective in the long run, as you’ll only have to pay the bill for your spending each cycle after that initial deposit. Plus, cards like the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card offer periodic account reviews that may allow you to upgrade to an unsecured credit card if you’ve shown responsible credit habits.
Unless improving your credit mix is a top priority, these other secured cards might be more valuable alternatives.
The Self – Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa Credit Card is already a pretty unique pairing, however you may be interested in also earning rewards for your purchases. A card to consider is the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards credit card. Though it is a secured credit card and you would have to put down $200 for a security deposit, the card doesn’t charge an annual fee and better yet, you’d earn a competitive 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases and could earn up to 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars when you book through Capital One Travel. Using this card could be a great way to fill in the gap of earning rewards, especially if you’d prefer flat-rate rewards over tiered ones.
The Self – Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa Credit Card is a unique pairing that allows those with limited or damaged credit to build payment history on two different credit lines: a loan and a credit card. This tool can be great if you want a card without a credit check and to diversify your “credit mix” factor. However, the additional costs and restrictions you’ll face from tacking on a credit-builder loan could make traditional secured cards a more appealing option.
The information about the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
*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.
* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.
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