Before I start, I want to give you a heads up. I am not being compensated to write this blog post. But in full disclosure, I am compensated by Self Lender to write personal finance articles for so we do work together. Although I’m extremely grateful for the professional relationship I have with Self Lender and other brands, anytime I write, speak or recommend something, I do it because those are my true thoughts and opinions.

Helping people to be better with money is what we do. We change how people think about money and help them take steps to be successful with it. But each person we help is different. They each have their own set of circumstances, beliefs, mistakes, goals and knowledge base. As financial professionals, our job is to match the person with a plan but also the tools they need to accomplish that plan.

The key word there is “tools.” The tools of our trade are an important part of helping our clients reach their financial goals. It’s a great feeling when you connect a person with a tool or resource that works for them, especially one that helps them break the cycle of financial chaos!

One such resource is Self Lender. Self Lender’s mission is to help people build credit. My first introduction to the company was by chance at a financial conference. There I had the opportunity to meet part of the Self Lender team and learn first-hand who they are and how they help. What resonated with me was their passion to help people build or improve their credit. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk

Good credit can not only save you money, but it can also save you heartache and stress. As a financial coach that helps the military, I know that good credit is paramount to Service members. Members of the armed forces who hold a security clearance must maintain good credit or risk losing their security clearance. That’s where I find Self Lender to be a good resource for the population I serve. Here are the details about Self Lender to see if they would be a good fit for the clients you serve.

How it Works
Self Lender helps clients build credit by first having them apply for a credit builder account, which is a CD_secured installment loan. The funds from the customer’s loan are then put into a CD in the customer’s name. Once that’s done, the client repays the loan based on a repayment plan that fits into their budget. Each time a payment is made, the payment is reported to the three credit bureaus. With each on-time payment, the client is building or rebuilding their credit.

Self Lender’s credit builder loans do not require you to make a deposit up front but your client will need to be able to afford the payment. There is an administration fee and variable payment options; it’s best to check their website for the most current figures. The APR on the loan is 16% or lower.

With anything and money, the resources you use will depend on the person and their situation. Here are some of the pros and cons of Self Lender to help you better understand the resource.


  • The CD is FDIC insured by one of Self Lender’s bank partners: Sunrise Banks, N.A., Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A., Lead Bank
  • A better alternative for those who have a problem overusing credit cards
  • Builds and improves credit with on-time payments
  • No deposit required up front
  • The activation fee is one time per account opening
  • For some people, the account is just as useful as a form of savings since the loan proceeds aren’t accessible until the account is closed
  • Available online and by smartphone app in all 50 states (great for the military community and others who find themselves moving somewhat frequently)
  • Early closure of an account costs less than $5, variable with account size
  • Access to free credit monitoring and Vantage Score during repayment period


  • High-interest rate payment (but way lower than most secured credit cards)
  • Late payments are reported to the credit bureaus (you can’t have it both ways)

Self Lender is great for anyone who wants to avoid using credit cards and build or rebuild their credit. It’s also good for people who want to build up emergency savings while building their credit.

Credit plays an important part in our lives whether we want it to or not, so it’s important to have good credit to save money and stress. Self Lender is a resource you could possibly recommend to help clients build or repair their credit.

Guest Contributor: Lacey Langford, AFC®

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