Let me guess Dream Catcher… you want to improve your credit, right? No, I’m not a psychic, it’s just that credit is the #1 request for help that I receive.

Everyone wants better credit, even folks with good credit, want better credit. Lol!

Why the big fuss? Well, bad credit makes for an expensive life. So many things cost more money when your credit is bad.

Examples: Some utility companies charge you more per unit of energy, interest rates (on cars, homes, credit cards…everythang) is higher, and some jobs won’t even hire you if your score is below a certain number. Yup!

Not too long ago, I suffered from bad credit. In my twenties it was in the 800s, then the Recession hit, I lost my job, home and savings and my credit score dropped to the 500s. Yikes!

It took me nearly 2 years to bring my credit score to the 700s, and I used every trick in the book.


One of the ways I built up my credit was with credit cards. It wasn’t my finest hour. I was jobless for a couple of years during the Recession, and I relied on credit cards to make ends meet. Sound familiar?

Paying down and off my cards was one of the ways I was able to rebuild my credit. The problem was, it took for-ev-er, and my interest rates were not the greatest… over 20% on some cards, because of my low credit score. I told you having bad credit made life more expensive.

These days there are way better tools available. I mean waaaaaay better.

There’s a new one that I’m SUPER excited about. It’s kinda genius really. Want to know what it is?

Self Lender!


Self Lender is an awesome easy-to-use credit builder loan with interest charges that are much lower than what I paid.


How Self Lender works:

1.  Signed up for a free Self Lender membership.

Bonus: You’ll get your credit score and credit monitoring, including notifications for free!

2. Choose the, “build credit and savings” option.

3. Fill out the form.

Note 1: They are going to ask you for your social security number. That’s normal procedure when you apply for any loan. The site is secure and it passes my “Lisa Rule” (see rule at bottom of post).

Note 2: Self Lender DOES NOT use your credit score to qualify you. They use an alternate consumer report called ChexSystems. As long as you don’t owe any bank, you should be approved.

Note 3: Anytime you apply for credit, you get an inquiry. Thankfully, Self Lender is NOT a hard credit pull. Hard pulls stay on your credit report for 2 years, but it only affects your score for a few months. Self Lender is a soft pull,  so there is no inquiry reported. They don’t use your credit score to qualify you. That’s why it’s not affected. (see note 2)

Note 4: To be on the safe side. DO NOT apply for credit (anywhere), if you plan on buying a house in the next 6-months. Your realtor will thank me. 🙂

4. Take out a credit builder loan. I suggest you take one out for the lowest amount possible, so your monthly payments will be manageable.

Bonus Again: Unlike a traditional loan, this one is held for you in a one-year, FDIC-insured certificate of deposit bank (CD) account.

Every month, your super-low payment is automatically taken from your bank account to pay toward the loan — and the 12.65% APR Self Lender charges to cover its own costs.

5. At the end of the year, the CD will mature and unlock, and its 0.10% APY growth rate means you’ll GET YOUR MONEY BACK, plus a little interest (minus fees).

Sidebar: You can pay off the loan earlier if you like too. You can pay it off anytime within the year. When you do, you’ll get the money from the CD back.


Das it!

Basically, it’s a loan, but YOU DO NOT get the money. Instead, Self Lender puts it away for you in a CD.

You pay the loan off in a year, then you get the money from the CD back.

It’s like taking a loan from yourself while saving money at the same darn time! Remember, credit bureaus are more concerned with the habit of paying regularly, more than the amount borrowed, so borrow a low amount.

The purpose is  to show creditors you can pay back and off what you owe. Self Lender is genius, right?!

The Real MVP Bonus: Your credit history will benefit from responsibly paying on and eventually off, an installment loan with fixed payments. Doing so shows future creditors that you my friend, are worthy of credit because you proved it 12-months in a row. Woot Woot!

Bonus Plus: Self Lender reports to all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion. *insert happy-dance*


Bonus on Bonus: Although I’m not a fan of the whole “good debt” term, installment loans are looked at similar to student loans. This means, if you’re going to have debt, it’s the better option. Your Self Lender credit builder loan will also increase your “types of debt”, which can positively affect 10% of your credit score.


The Breakdown (courtesy of the Penny Hoarder)


Let’s say you take out a $1100 credit builder loan…
By the end of the year, you will have paid off the $1100 loan; $1164 when you include the interest you will have paid. There is also a minimal $12 admin fee, that Self Lender charges.

Your original $1,100 will have gained a little interest and will be: $1,101.10 at the end of the year.

That means you’ll have grown your credit and improved your credit history for the low-cost of about $75, in one year! The $75 is the full cost of your interest if you get the $1100 credit builder loan.

The $75 interest (if you choose to borrow $1100), is split into 12 payments and taken as part of  your monthly payment (about $6/month), like most interest and principal payments for a loan. That’s less than what some banks charge you for your check account each month, and those accounts DO NOT grow your credit.

The math on a $1100 Self Lender Credit Builder Loan:

$1,164 (what you’ll have paid by the end of the 12 months)

+ $12 (Self Lender admin fee)

– $1,101.10 (what you’ll get back after paying off the loan)

= $74.90 (cost of the whole process)

Do you know how much credit repair companies charge? I assure you, much more that $75 for 1-year. Most cost more than $75/month.

**You don’t have to borrow $1100. I suggest you borrow the lowest amount provided. Currently about $500. That will bring your monthly payment to less than $50/month.

Bonus of the Bonuses (clearly I’m running out of bonus names):

  1. Your Self Lender credit builder loan is free to sign-up for.
  2. It takes less than 20 minutes to complete the application
  3. The payments are automatically deducted. Set it and forget it.
  4. It a soft credit pull, so applying won’t negatively affect your credit.
  5. The loan will show up on all 3 of your credit reports right away.
  6. Some folks have seen an increase in their credit score in as little as one month!
  7. You get your free credit score and credit monitoring, including notifications.
  8. At the end of the year, you get back the money you paid (plus a little interest – minus the fees). It’s like taking a loan from yourself…. SELF LENDER (get it?) 🙂
  9. Self Lender can cost you less in a year, than what a credit repair agency charges a month.


Interested in learning more and signing up with Self Lender? You can do so HERE:


Sidebar: I love happy endings. Have you been able to fix your credit? Share how in the comments.

This easy tool will help you raise your credit score, without a credit card. Click To Tweet


Live richer,



My Lisa Rule: I have 4 sisters and Lisa is the baby (we’ll she’s not a baby anymore). Of all of my sisters, I’m the most protective over her. Before I share any product or service with you, it must pass my Lisa Rule.

What’s the Lisa Rule? If I would not advise Lisa to use a product or service, I won’t advise you to. YOU are my Lisas. I feel protective over you and your financial journey.

Self Lender passes my Lisa Rule. Yes, I am an affiliate of Self Lender, and I earn a commission off of referrals, but I would not recommend a product or service that I didn’t believe was helpful and useful. As a matter of fact, I’m having both Lisa and one of my besties sign-up for this awesome tool this week.

  • Antonia Palmer

    So if I use this tool, how will it help if the housing company doesn’t want you to open up any line of credit?

    • You can open a line of credit Antonia, just not within 6-months of closing on a mortgage.

      • Kimberly

        What if you have anything in Chex Systms, will that have to be paid off first?

  • Kristie Dunn

    I’m totally excited. I have signed up. Can’t wait to see the results.

    • Please let me know how it works after a month or so. I can’t wait to get Lisa (my sister) to sign-up.

  • Ashley

    I’m not sure I understand this 100%, so this is not a loan that I can take out to pay off my existing debt (credit cards ) this is more so a savings account that I pay into each month?

    • KayBee

      That’s what it sounds like to me.

      • Ashley

        I need to get my credit card bills caught up before I start this, but it sounds like a good thing to try.

        • Maritza Petrie

          Agreed! That is my issue as well. I just asked Tiffany her opinion on whether or not I should be joining now in light of owing those credit card balances.

          • Ashley R Allen

            That is a great question I’d love to know her suggestions? I was doing so good for a while was almost at a 700 and then life happened 😥 best wishes to you.

          • Maritza Petrie

            Ugh me too!! Once she responds I will let you know what she says…likewise, best wishes to you! We will do it 🙂

          • Wait. Get your credit card debt down BEFORE signing-up. You don’t want add more debt if you’re already burdened with a lot of credit card debt.

        • I would wait. Get your credit card debt down BEFORE signing-up. You don’t want add more debt if you’re already burdened with a lot of credit card debt.

      • It’s a loan, but YOU don’t get the money. They put it away for you in a CD.

        You pay the loan off, then you get the money from the CD back.

        It’s like taking a loan from yourself.

        The purpose is to show creditors you can pay back and off what you owe.

    • Sheryl Rochelle

      If the loan is approved,can the money be used to pay off credit cards??…And just make surely money is in the account to pay the loan payments…

      • Not at 1st. It’s placed in a CD. After you pay off the loan in a year. You’ll get back the loan money and can use it how you like.

    • It’s a loan, but YOU don’t get the money. They put it away for you in a CD.

      You pay the loan off, then you get the money from the CD back.

      It’s like taking a loan from yourself.

      The purpose is to show creditors you can pay back and off what you owe.

      • Tameka Bob

        What’s the difference between this loan and a secured loan?

  • Nannette mensah

    Just signed up!!!

  • Hall

    If my husband and I just bought a car, then does opening this account really help my credit score anymore?

    • It can. It will take years to pay off a car. This loan will take 1-year. When you pay off a debt in full, you get an extra jump in your credit score.

  • jis4jelissa

    I have this loan since August. So far so good. It took 2 months to start reporting. i guess after I made my first payment and between this showing up on my report and more interest from student loans, my score plummeted 58 points.

    • It will raise again. Initial inquires with new credit bring you down temporarily.

  • Elaine Veal

    My husband and I have really bad credit scores. I have a new car loan that’s only 4 months old. My credit cards are maxed out, I asked for a credit increase and applied for a new card and got denied. Is this loan beneficial to us, and what are the odds of not being approved?

    • I just reached out to Self Lender. Anytime you apply for credit, you get an inquiry. Thankfully, Self Lender is NOT a hard credit pull. Hard pulls stay on your credit report for 2 years, but it only affects your score for a few months. Self Lender is a soft pull, so there is no inquiry reported.

  • KM

    Just signed up, can’t wait to see what happens. I have a daughter who will be 18 in a couple of days wondered if this would be a good way to establish credit for her?

  • Latasha T McMiller

    I’ve done this with my bank (secured loan) which they hold, but as I make my payments, the bank actually releases some of the money every month. And it actually has been improving my credit score. Would it be a good idea to do this plan along what I’m already doing for a more rapid score increase or would it even make a difference?

    • You can, but it seems like you’re already utilizing a similar tool. It will make a difference, because it 2 different loans.

      Just make sure not to over borrow.

  • Kyeshu Harris

    If I plan on purchasing a house in may or jun can I still do this?

  • Regina Renita

    Will I Have To To Pay $97Bucks For 12 Months?

    • If you borrow, $1100. If you borrow $500 you’ll pay $48/month

  • SW

    If I join now how will I get money back in time for the holidays if it takes 1 year to pay off?

    • Lisa Clark

      You will get the money back this time next year…just in time for the holidays 2017!

      • Serterica Williams

        Thanks, I should have known that, it makes more sense

  • La Tunya Trotter Sifford

    I just signed up Thank you!!!!

  • Chanel Lynch

    What if you owe a bank? Astoria bank came to my high school, which was about 13yrs ago and told me and my classmates that opening and account with them was free. So I did, I never deposited nor withdrew anything. I went to open an acccount with capital one bank few years ago and they said I owed Astoria $64 and I had to pay it. I went to Astoria they told me contact chexsystem still don’t know how too get them directly. I’m saying all this to say I would have loved to join selflender but I can’t because of some Astoria bank mess. Thanks for the info it’s a great idea.

    • Astoria bank reported you to CheckSystems. You can reach out to them directly here:

      • Chanel Lynch

        Omg thank you so much for this info…enjoy your evening!!!

      • Kimberly

        Self lender does not service the NYC area…..what is the next best thing to do

  • Maritza Petrie

    I have two credit cards that I need to pay off or at the very least get their balances down drastically. Would it make sense for me to enroll in Self Lender at this time?

    • Nope. Wait. Pay them off or down significantly first.

      • Tameka Bob

        What about a medical credit card I’m paying a very small amount on each month? Should I wait also?

  • HustleMommy

    Would paying off this type of loan quicker than 12 months hurt you?

  • China

    I have a problem with my mortgage agency, my house is in foreclosure and my credit is not good at all. can I still apply?

    • Yup! As long as you don’t have a record with Checksystems, you should be fine.

      • sylvia

        who is checksystems?

  • Kahlila

    This is such a great idea! I can’t wait to get started.

  • Ashley Brown

    Thanks so much for this information! If you have active collections on your credit will the loan help as far as bringing up your score?

  • Lenore Nugent


  • Darlene Dicks

    What is the highest rank of a credit score?

    • Adrian Stagg


    • Trea Pullings

      actually it’s 900.

  • Denise Mathis

    This product is not yet available in New York.

  • Vanessa

    I opened secured card with my bank hoping to raise my fico score. I have scheduled automatic payments to pay whatever I charge. It’s only a $300 limit. Can I apply for the self lender program as well?

  • Mel

    I’m definitely interested and in desperate need for a credit boost. If I have delinquent school loans will this help my credit? These loans are really hurting my score. What should I do?

  • Shea

    Hi. I was wondering would it be a good idea to pay off what I owe to the creditors before I sign up?

  • Stacey Williamson

    I have two credit cards that are each almost maxed out. What percentage should I pay them down to before signing up for this?

  • Tiffany Hunter

    Hello, am I able to take more than one loan out at a time? Thanks

  • Nawkole Kendace

    Question: In regards to paying off the loan in advance; will my monthly amount be reduced if I make additional payments or will the amount of payments be reduced?

  • Linda Diaz

    Hi! I was wondering if I should sign up. I have a student loan, home mortgage, auto loan & 4 store credit cards that I signed up in October using the shopping cart trick. I am not planning to use those credit cards. However, I made a small purchase on one of them to pay it in full to increase my credit score. My credit score with Transunion reads 641 & Equifax 702. What do you suggest for me to do?

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  • Saundra

    What if you do owe ChexSystems?

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  • Tried to sign up but unfortunately it’s not offered in NY. Any other recommendations? Thanks in advance.

  • Chrystle lynn

    Thank you for your advise comments and discussions since December my credit score has jumped 30 points and I’ve successfully removed two paid judgements from my credit report

  • Adrian Stagg

    Do I have to have a bank account to apply?

  • Brandy Mccoy

    Contact if you need any cred­it repair you wont be­ disappoint they help­ed me shot to a  to  ­750 in a week their s­ervices are legit,  f­ast and safe they are­ very  reliable and g­eniune i dont know how they did it but they did. They are just incredible folks

  • Richie Mccoy

    I have been through a lot looking for companies and hackers to help me fix my credit score with no result, then i came in contact with through a blog comment from Andrew ,he fixed my credit score and did it neatly with no trace..a professional to the core and the best i have seen at fixing credit score..