Credit in the Gutter? These Programs Help You Rebuild

( – Bad credit can result in potentially costly consequences. According to LendingTree, about 42% of Americans could not access financial products, such as personal loans and credit cards, due to poor credit scores in 2021. Everyone needs to take steps to rebuild their credit history. This measure not only eases access to financial products, but also leads to better loan terms and lower interest rates. Here are some programs that can help individuals rebuild their bad credit.


Formerly known as SELF Lender, SELF is a loan program that claims to have helped over one million individuals rebuild their credit. To get started with SELF, applicants fill out an application and pay a $9 administrative fee. Once approved, a loan is opened, and the proceeds are placed in a certificate of deposit (CD) equal to the total loan amount. The borrower is required to make payments on the loan, which can range from $25 to $150, depending on their budget.

After paying off the loan in 12 to 24 months, the CD is unlocked, allowing the borrower to withdraw the money minus SELF’s fees and interest charges. One way SELF helps consumers build credit is by reporting their monthly payments to the three main credit bureaus. Because payment history makes up about 35% of one’s total credit score, making consistent, on-time payments with the credit builder can positively impact an individual’s credit.

Credit Strong

Credit Strong is a credit builder loan service which is a division of a Texas-based bank, Austin Capital Bank. It helps consumers rebuild credit through three products; Revolv, Instal, and CS Max. None of the products requires a hard credit pull, so they are ideal for people who have never had a credit card or loan to their name.

To get started with Credit Strong, consumers need to assess their credit-building goals and understand their options. Each of the program’s products has its terms and repayment periods, so it’s essential to pick what suits your needs. For instance, with the Revolv product, a $99 annual subscription fee earns a $500 revolving credit tradeline to the consumer’s credit mix.

Credit Strong works by depositing the proceeds of a loan into a locked savings account. The consumer is then required to make fixed monthly payments, which go toward interest and unlocking the loan’s principal. The credit builder reports these payments to the major credit bureaus, increasing the score of consumers who make on-time payments.


MoneyLion is a financial technology company offering various financial products and services, such as investment accounts, personal loans, and credit monitoring tools. One of the company’s standout features is the Credit Builder Plus program. Note that MoneyLion’s credit builder plan is one of the most expensive, with a $19.99 monthly membership fee.

However, consumers can still benefit from other ways, primarily through the company’s RoarMoney mobile banking system. Using RoarMoney, consumers can earn Lion’s Share Cashback of up to $19.99 per month, potentially offsetting the membership cost. Additionally, this feature offers other advantages, including early access to paychecks, interest-free cash advances, and fee-free access to a large network of ATMs.

According to MoneyLion, over half of their Credit Builder Plus customers see a credit score gain of 42 points or more within 60 days. That said, this program may not favor consumers looking for a standalone credit builder loan, as the membership fee could be too expensive.

Rebuilding bad credit takes time and effort, but it’s possible to achieve it with the right programs. SELF, Credit Strong, and MoneyLion are all excellent options for individuals who want to repair their credit scores. Even so, research and choose a program that suits your needs and budget. In addition to these programs, ensure you practice good credit habits like making on-time payments, keeping credit utilization low, and frequently monitoring your credit score.

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