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About Self Lender

Self Lender is a community, a proactive mindset, and a collection of tools that help you take control of your credit.

Self Lenders (our "users") get personalized credit score tracking, credit monitoring, access to simple financial tools, and the opportunity to apply for a credit builder account. A credit builder account can help you establish credit history and save money in a safe, responsible way.

Take control. Become a Self Lender.

A credit builder account is a small loan that's held in a CD account for 12 months. The account is FDIC insured, earns 0.10% APY interest and is held for you in your name during the term.

The credit builder account offered inside Self Lender works like this:

  • Our banking partner lends you money that is held in a FDIC insured, certificate of deposit bank account ("CD account") for 12 months.
  • Next, you make 12 equal payments over the course of your term to repay the credit builder account. Payment history is reported to the credit bureaus each month.
  • At the end of the term, you've paid off your loan and your CD has matured (and earned interest!). Plus, you've demonstrated months of payment history to the credit bureaus.

Have more questions? Chat or email us.

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Self Lender is free to join.

Yes, you can! For every referral that signs up for a credit builder account with Self Lender, you will receive $10 upon their first payment toward the loan. Log in to your dashboard to find your unique referral URL.

You need a bank account or debit card, valid email address, residential address, phone number, social security number (SSN) and be at least 18 years of age.

Most people can join in less than 5 minutes.

You can chat with us (click the button on the bottom right), email us at help@selflender.com or give us a call during normal business hours Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 7:00 pm CT at (877) 883-0999.

A traditional credit score is calculated based upon 5 factors:

  • Payment History: 35%
  • Amounts Owed: 30%
  • Length of Credit History: 15%
  • New Credit: 10%
  • Types of Credit Used: 10%

For more information, check out our How Credit Works section, or see our detail explanation of how a credit score is calculated

Credit Builder Accounts

Credit builder account, technically known as "savings-secured installment loans" or "CD*-secured installment loans," have been offered by some credit unions and community banks for decades. Credit builder loans have helped people save money and establish credit history in a safe, responsible way.

Self Lender has partnered with Austin Capital Bank to offer the credit builder account to the Self Lender community.

* Certificate of deposit
Austin Capital Bank SSB. Member FDIC.

The credit builder account offered inside the Self Lender dashboard works like this:

  • Our partner, Austin Capital Bank, lends $550, $1,100, or $2,200 that is held in a FDIC insured, certificate of deposit bank account ("CD account") for 12 months. The CD earns 0.10% APY while the loan has an interest rate of 10.57%. The total APR* is at most 14.77%.
  • Pay $12 today (non-refundable administrative fee) to open the credit builder account.
  • Choose the payment plan that corresponds to your loan, resulting in payments of $48.50, $97, or $194 per month for 12 months. Payment history is reported to the credit bureaus while the CD account earns interest.
  • After completing the term with on-time payments, the loan is paid off, and the CD account unlocks (with the original amount you selected) plus interest**. Plus, you've demonstrated months of payment history to the credit bureaus!

Have more questions? Chat or email us.

* Annual Percentage Rate
† Annual Percentage Yield
** A CD account with $550 has an expected value of $550.55 in 12 months at 0.10% Annual Percentage Yield. A CD account with $1,100 has an expected value of $1,101.10 in 12 months at 0.10% Annual Percentage Yield. A CD account with $2,200 has an expected value of $2,202.20 in 12 months at 0.10% Annual Percentage Yield
Austin Capital Bank SSB. Member FDIC.
Example credit builder account. Actual terms may vary. See disclosures for specific account and loan terms.

The credit builder account lasts for 12 months.

The following credit builder account sizes are available in Self Lender: $550, $1,100, and $2,200. Each credit builder account has a 12 month term and a payment plan of respectively, $48.50, $97, and $194 per month.

Austin Capital Bank SSB. Member FDIC.
Example credit builder account. Actual terms may vary. See disclosures for specific account and loan terms.

When you get a credit builder account, your money is immediately placed into a FDIC insured, 12 month CD account that earns 0.10% APY. The CD account is held at Austin Capital Bank and the funds must reside in the CD for the duration of the term.

For example, suppose you have a $1,100 credit builder account that started today, with a 12 month term. Your CD would mature on with .

The credit builder account is designed to help you save money and establish credit history in a safe, responsible way. If you need access to loan proceeds immediately, then you should consider alternative financing.

* Annual Percentage Rate
† Annual Percentage Yield
Austin Capital Bank SSB. Member FDIC.

When you get a credit builder account, you have one month to make your first scheduled payment. If you have a credit builder account, please see your account documents.

For example, suppose you have a $1,100 credit builder account with a 12 month term at 12.65% APR* held in a 12 month CD that earns 0.10% APY. Assuming you started today, . Your schedule could be:

On , your CD account would mature with . You can take your money out, roll it over into a new CD, or get another credit builder account.

* Annual Percentage Rate
† Annual Percentage Yield
Austin Capital Bank SSB. Member FDIC.
Example credit builder account. Actual terms may vary. See disclosures for specific account and loan terms.

Currently, monthly payment options vary depending on total loan size. Options include: $48.50, $97, or $194 per month for 12 months.

The credit builder account is reported to the credit bureaus throughout the course of your loan. According to the credit bureaus, payment history is the most important component of your credit score. For details, see our explanation of how a credit score is calculated.

Austin Capital Bank SSB. Member FDIC.

A secured credit card functions just like a credit card, with one key difference: You have to have cash upfront to 'secure' the credit card. Often times this can be $500 or more.

The credit builder account is designed to help you save while you're establishing credit history. If you need money today, then the credit builder account is not the right fit for you.

In terms of credit reporting, the credit builder account is reported as an "installment loan" while a secured credit card is reported as a "revolving" line of credit on your credit report. Both products help you establish credit history. It's just up to you which product fits your lifestyle.

Austin Capital Bank SSB. Member FDIC.

Managing Your Credit Builder Account

Yes, anytime!

There is no prepayment penalty for paying off your loan early. You can repay your credit builder account by logging into your Self Lender account and making a one-time payment.

No early termination fee is charged. You will receive the loan deposit amount, plus accrued interest, minus any amounts due when the CD matures.

You can have one, active credit builder account at any given time. After you have completed one credit builder account, you can apply for another one afterwards.

We are not a lender. Our banking partner, Austin Capital Bank, is our partner lender. Austin Capital Bank SSB is a FDIC insured, registered financial institution based in Austin, Texas.

Log into Self Lender at www.selflender.com/login. Once inside, you can see your credit score, your profile, loan status, repayment schedule, and PDF loan documents.

Yes. You can choose to make one-time payments at anytime -- or to have an automatic payment withdrawn from a debit card or bank account on a convenient, monthly schedule.

If a loan payment is fifteen (15) or more days late, you will be charged 5% of the scheduled monthly installment amount. For a $1,100 credit builder account with a 12 month term and a 10.57% interest rate, the first late fee would be $4.85.

After thirty (30) days, the late payment would be reported as "late" on your credit report. If you cannot make your payment on-time, please contact help@selflender.com as soon as you can.

The loan will be reported as "late" to the credit bureaus and then reported as a "default" to the credit bureaus.

See account disclosures for further details.

You can make a payment anytime with your bank account or debit card by logging into your Self Lender account.

Yes, you can change your payment information by logging into your Self Lender account.

Typically, payment history will appear on your credit report under Austin Capital Bank, SSB within sixty days (60) from your first due date. Each credit bureau decides when this information is processed and reported on your credit report.

No. We do not dispute items on your credit report or offer a "credit repair" solution. Credit repair companies typically charge large monthly fees to contest your past payments -- which is something you can do yourself for free.

No. Self Lender does not do a hard credit pull.

Your Privacy & Security

Self Lender is a software partner for a registered U.S. financial institution -- and as such, we have to abide by strict protocols that govern your safety and security over your data.

Self Lender encrypts your data at multiple levels: disk encryption layer, database encryption layer, field-level encryption layer, API encrypted layer, and HTTPS/SSL 256 bit encrypted layer to your web browser. Self Lender is a Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) 16 SOC 1 compliant organization. Our most recent SOC 1 audit was completed on December 30, 2016.

Additionally, we hire experts to regularly perform vulnerability scans and penetration tests on our systems; we have a disaster recovery and business continuity plan with a cyber liability insurance policy, and lastly, our employees undergo criminal financial background checks before joining Self Lender. Have more questions? Contact us anytime.

We need your SSN to display your monthly credit score, and to provide you with credit monitoring. If you choose to get a credit builder account, then your SSN is needed for credit reporting and loan servicing purposes.

In addition, to help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, and the theft of your identity, Federal law requires all financial service entities to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, tax identification number (social security number or employer identification number), date of birth, and possibly other information that will allow us to identify you.

Learn more about how Self Lender keeps your data safe.

We collect limited information about you when you use Self Lender. For more details, please see our privacy policy and terms of service.

Please contact us here and tell us a little bit about yourself and your partnership idea.

Please contact us here. We love feedback! Someone from our team will personally respond to your request.

Yes. We modeled our bug bounty program on Facebook's Whitehat bug bounty program. Send your report to bugs@selflender.com.

To reset your password, visit www.selflender.com/forgot for instructions.

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