Credit Resources

Self is a new kind of credit builder loan that doesn’t require a huge amount of money upfront and charges exceedingly reasonable interest. There’s no credit check required.

Self works like this:

  • You choose your desired payment amount, between $25 and $194 per month. You also decide the term of  your loan, either 12 or 24 months. These two decisions will determine the amount of the loan. For example, If you choose a $89 payment for 12 months your loan amount will be $1,000.
  • The loan amount, the $1,000 in our example, is deposited into an FDIC-insured certificate of deposit bank account that earns interest. This account is “locked” until you have made all the payments.
  • The monthly payment covers paying back the loan’s principal as well as interest payments.
  • When your loan is paid off after the chosen term, you can withdraw the money you borrowed, plus interest, from the CD.

In the meantime, Self reports your timely payments to all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) just like any other installment loan. Each and every timely monthly payment helps you increase your credit score.

How much does Self cost?

Self loans are very reasonable.

Here’s how it breaks down for our example loan above:

  • There is a non-refundable administration fee of $12 to get the loan. These fees range from $9 to $15 depending on the loan.
  • You would make your payments of $89 for 12 months. These payments total $1,068.
  • After the loan is paid, you can withdraw $1,000 (plus a teeny bit of interest) from the CD.
  • Your net cost is $80. (Minus the bit of interest your $1,000 earned in the CD.)
Essentially, you’ll be rebuilding your credit rating without you having to take out an additional loan or line of credit. Instead, you’ll be collecting on a small secured personal loan that you have made to yourself.

The Self Visa® Credit Card

Self has also introduced a Visa card as an additional tool for building credit. It is a secured credit card that is secured by a portion of your savings progress ($100 or more). The current APR for this credit card is 23.99%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Opening a Self Visa Credit Card requires that you have an open credit-builder account and the following already established:

  • 3 monthly payments made on time
  • You have $100 or more in savings progress
  • Your account is in good standing

If you are looking to build or reestablish your credit, Self may be a great fit for you. With various plans fitting all budgets, access to FDIC backed banks, and an easy online platform, it may be a tool to help you achieve the credit score you deserve.

First Latitude Platinum

The First Latitude Platinum Mastercard Secured Credit Card is a new card program designed to help consumers establish credit records with the major consumer credit bureaus. Credit improvement information on each active card account is reported monthly to all three major credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You post a security deposit to establish your credit line so that no credit history or minimum score is required for approval. Your security deposit serves as collateral for your obligations on the secured credit card account — see “Security Interest” below.

The First Latitude Platinum Mastercard Secured Credit Card is a full-feature Platinum Mastercard with a credit line based on a security deposit rather than on a credit score. The card is designed to advance the accumulation of new information in a credit file by reporting account activity to all three of the major national credit bureaus every month. And because it’s a full-feature Platinum Mastercard, the card provides the protection, convenience, and prestige of the worldwide Mastercard system.

The First Latitude Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is one of the best secured credit card to be introduced in recent times and has two great features that will help a rebuilder tremendously. Firstly, this card has no annual fee. Secondly, there is no credit checks. That means that you will be approved even if you have been rejected by other secured credit cards (yes, you can actually be denied a secured card). Re-builders should definitely consider this card.

Card Details

Annual Fee: $0

Deposit Requirements: $200 to $2,000

APR: 25.99%

Credit Checks: No credit checks

Why Choose First Latitude?

No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Choose a Credit Line Secured by Your Fully Refundable Deposit — from $200 to $2,000
  • Get a Full-feature Platinum Mastercard Accepted at Millions of Merchants Worldwide and Online
  • Reports Monthly to All 3 Consumer Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Quick and Easy Online Application
  • Expedited Processing and Apply Now & Fund Later Options Available (see application for details)

First Latitude Platinum Mastercard Secured Credit Card

A Credit Strong account is the fusion of a secured consumer installment loan and a savings account. During the life of your Credit Strong account you build both credit history and savings. There is no credit check when you apply for a Credit Strong account.

How Exactly Does A Credit Strong Account Work?

When you open a Credit Strong account:

  • Austin Capital Bank gives you an installment loan and places the borrowed funds in a savings account in your name
  • You do not receive the funds on day one, they are instantly deposited into the savings account
  • A lock is placed on the funds in the savings account to secure the loan
  • Each month you make a single, fixed monthly payment of principal and interest on the loan
  • The principal portion of your loan payment is credited towards the lock on your savings account and the interest portion of your payment is how we cover the costs of providing the service to you
  • During the term of your account we report your loan payment history to all three major credit bureaus and you earn interest on your savings account balance
    When the loan is paid in-full, the lock is removed from the savings account and the funds become available to you

You end up with payment history for an installment loan on your credit report, which accounts for 35% of your FICO credit score, and the money you’ve saved up in your savings account.

Is Credit Strong Legit? How Do I Know This Isn’t A Scam?

Credit Strong is a division of Austin Capital Bank. Austin Capital Bank is a 5-star rated FDIC insured Texas State Savings Bank, located in Austin, Texas. As an FDIC insured bank, Austin Capital Bank is subject to rigorous federal and state oversight and examinations on a regular basis by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending.

Do They Report To All Three Major Credit Bureaus?

Yes. They report your payment history directly to the three major credit bureaus; Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Your Credit Strong account installment loan will be listed under “AUSTIN CAPITAL BANK SSB” on your credit report.

For a small monthly fee, the Rock the Score program allows you to build positive credit history without opening a new account or paying a separate bill. Just enroll in the program, continue to pay your rent on time, and sit back to watch your credit history rise. Your credit score can rise as much as 30-50 points just for paying your rent.

Upon enrolling into the program, you will be assessed a small setup fee and will pay a monthly fee each month to remain in the program. However, if Rock the Score cannot verify your rental agreement with your landlord, you will be refunded any fees that you have already paid. You have nothing to lose!

Building and maintaining a higher credit score is essential but also terribly challenging. Rock the Score makes it easier to increase your credit score simply by paying your rent bill each month.

The program is $8.95 per month with a one-time $25 cost to enroll. Enroll today. Cancel anytime.