CreditStrong Review — Build a Strong Credit Score


I’ve spent the previous few months researching find out how to rebuild your credits for an academic collection I’m writing. That’s why I used to be intrigued through CreditStrong, a provider that is helping you rebuild your credits through providing you with specialised loans or strains of credits and reporting them to credits reporting companies. 

I do know that almost certainly feels like a scheme, however a lot of these products and services are completely criminal. It’s only a approach that can assist you construct or rebuild your credits. What’s intriguing about CreditStong is that it’s a one-stop store for constructing installment (private loans) and revolving (bank cards) credits. 

So I seemed into it to look if it was once a excellent have compatibility for readers and make sure it wasn’t a rip-off. 

What Is CreditStrong?

CreditStrong is a credit-building provider. It supplies loanlike merchandise, then studies your job to the credits bureaus identical to common bank cards and financial institution loans. You can use those loans to construct or rebuild your credits or diversify your credits combine. 

You join its merchandise, which act like both a bank card (revolving credits) or private mortgage (installment credits). So lengthy as you stay your revolving account open or paying into the installment account as agreed, you get sure knowledge reported to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, which improves your credits profile with all 3 credits bureaus. 

CreditStrong additionally offers you your per month FICO rating, permitting you to trace your development towards assembly your credits rating objectives. Depending on what account kind you’ve gotten and the way you employ it, its merchandise can impact as much as 90% of the criteria that have an effect on your credits rating.

What Sets CreditStrong Apart?

CreditStrong has a number of options that set it aside from competition. 

  • It’s Also About Savings. Many competition simply take a look at that can assist you construct your credits rating. But with a CreditStrong account, you’ll even have a tidy little emergency fund when all is claimed and performed. Just needless to say you handiest have get entry to to the financial savings while you entire the mortgage.
  • Backed through a Trusted Bank. CreditStrong is subsidized through Austin Capital Bank, and your whole cash leads to an FDIC-insured financial savings account on the financial institution. That approach you’re now not trusting some new child at the block that seems to possess a burger joint. It’s an actual financial institution with a forged popularity. 
  • Has Options for Bigger Loans. If your factor is much less horrible credits and extra now not sufficient credits for the amount of cash you’re making, CreditStrong has an possibility for a bigger mortgage that can assist you construct the type of credits you wish to have to take out bank cards with upper limits or larger private loans. 

CreditStrong Plans & Pricing

CreditStrong lately has 3 credit-building merchandise to choose between. You can use those merchandise at the side of one any other or on my own. 

Better but, since CreditStrong doesn’t take a look at your credits instead of verifying your identification, you’ll use CreditStrong despite the fact that your credits is horrible. Just beware that it’s important to decide to the use of it proper (making on-time bills) or that you must injury your credits profile. 

If you’re in a position and prepared to place within the paintings, you’ll choose between any of those account varieties.

Revolv (Line of Credit)

“Revolv” stands for “revolving credits.” CreditStrong studies this account to the credits bureaus as the similar form of credits as a bank card. But it’s now not a bank card.

Its competition be offering secured bank cards, which isn’t the same as CreditStrong’s providing. Revolv doesn’t contain any exact plastic or the related spendable credits, that means you don’t need to pay a number of hundred bucks prematurely as a safety deposit. Revolv is designed that can assist you steer clear of getting your self into bother with overspending.

Essentially, CreditStrong provides you with a $500 line of credits and studies that to the bureaus. But you’ll’t if truth be told get entry to that cash (but) excluding in an excessively explicit approach — to save cash.

You set a per month charge (together with as little as $0), referred to as a financial savings dedication, and that’s what you pay. CreditStrong advances your charge quantity a little bit early right into a separate financial savings account. Your charge covers the improvement.

Once your account has been open for twelve months, you’ll withdraw the cash. Or you’ll go away it on your financial savings account and stay going. You may additionally imagine shifting the cash to a high-interest financial savings account.

To toughen your charge historical past, set per month bills within the really helpful quantity. To have an effect on your credits usage or credits combine handiest, set the bills to $0 and let it journey. You too can do this if you wish to have to skip a month however don’t need to shut your account.

But that’s now not all you must find out about this distinctive approach of creating revolving credits.

  • $99 Annual Fee. It prices nearly $100 in keeping with yr to care for a Revolv account. If you take into accounts it, that’s now not all that dangerous. Lots of bank card corporations rate annual charges, and maximum of the ones gained’t give other folks with little or low credit a card, both. At least CreditStrong is helping toughen your credits. That mentioned, some secured playing cards have decrease or no annual charges, although they do rate curiosity should you don’t pay the invoice in complete every month.
  • Zero Interest. Unlike common bank cards, together with maximum secured playing cards, you pay 0 curiosity. Granted, different financial savings accounts would possibly pay you curiosity, however the ones don’t report back to credits bureaus. And Revov is designed to will let you lift a small quantity every month with out paying further.
  • Low Monthly Payment. You can set a low per month charge so it suits into your finances, together with a $0 one if you wish to have to skip a month or extra. 
  • Increase Your Credit Line. If you wish to have a bigger credits line reported to the credits bureaus, you’ll building up your line of credits $100 at a time (as much as $1,000) through making 3 consecutive per month bills of $20 or extra. 

If you don’t believe your self with a bank card, don’t have the safety deposit for a secured card, or simply don’t want one, a CreditStrong Revolv account is helping toughen your credits profile when you save up cash with out misusing credits or any vital prematurely expense (outdoor the subscription charge). 

The largest problem to the Revolv line of credits in comparison to secured bank cards is that loss of plastic. Your cash is tied up till you’re making your remaining charge or cancel your account. 

If you’ve were given the $500 to pay prematurely, a secured bank card provides you with get entry to in your cash when you wish to have it. That might make a secured card a greater have compatibility if you wish to have to get entry to your cash for day-to-day bills like fuel and groceries. 

Instal (Loan Product)

A CreditStrong Instal account presentations up for your credits file as a mortgage, often referred to as installment credits. But it’s a kind of mortgage referred to as a credit-builder mortgage. 

CreditStrong places the mortgage quantity right into a locked financial savings account. You make per month bills consisting of the major (quantity borrowed) and curiosity. 

The major of a conventional mortgage is the volume you’re borrowing. For a CreditStrong Instal mortgage, it’s the volume you’ll have on your financial savings account in any case. The curiosity is how a lot it prices for the provider they’re offering — on this case, to file your on-time bills to the credits bureaus as a mortgage.

Once you’ve paid the total quantity you owe, the financial savings account unlocks and you’ll get entry to the volume you stored (the major). 

But it’s necessary to grasp the precise options of CreditStrong’s Instal product.

  • $15 One-Time Fee. There’s a one-time, nonrefundable charge of $15 while you join. That’s cheap in comparison to actual loans, which incessantly include hefty prematurely origination charges of a number of hundred to thousand bucks. 
  • Predictable Interest Payments. You pay round 15% curiosity, relying on which degree you select. But there are not any surprises because of CreditStrong’s transparency. It publishes all its amortization tables so you’ll see precisely how a lot of your per month charge is going to curiosity as opposed to major earlier than you even join. Depending on which Instal plan you select, between 60%-80% of your first yr’s bills pass at once in your financial savings, and over the lifetime of your Instal plan between 75%-86% of your bills shall be returned to you as financial savings when your Instal plan is finished. 
  • Flexible Account Options. Multiple choices can help you borrow round $1,000 with more than a few time period lengths and charge quantities. Choose from $48 per 30 days for twenty-four months (two years), $38 per 30 days for 36 months (3 years), or $28 per 30 days for 48 months (4 years).

There’s actually little or no chance to an account like this since you’ll cancel it if important. The number one drawback it might purpose is lacking or overdue bills because the credits bureaus will to find out. So if you’ll’t make a charge in a given month, it can be recommended to cancel slightly than have that overdue charge reported to the bureaus.

The one-time charge is low, however the rate of interest is round 15%, which might sound steep. People with excellent credits who’re simply taking a look to extend their credits combine can most likely get a greater price through simply casting off a typical mortgage. 

But it’s just a few share issues upper than Bankrate’s reported reasonable of round 11%, which is an OK value of doing trade in case your credits rating is terrible and you wish to have to extend it.

CS Max (Larger Loan Product)

Aside from the quantities, CS Max works identical to an Instal account — with one notable distinction.

CS Max is a unique form of credit-builder mortgage for high-dollar quantities. They’re best possible for individuals who have coins glide however no credits or those that wish to reveal their talent to pay again high-dollar loans, equivalent to sole proprietors taking a look to construct their private credits to get larger loans for his or her trade. 

But this account kind isn’t proper for everybody. In truth, it’s now not proper for the general public. So except you’ve gotten a selected explanation why to construct credits like this, persist with Instal. 

  • $25 One-Time Fee. There’s a one-time, nonrefundable charge of $25 while you join. That’s cheap in comparison to conventional loans, which incessantly include hefty prematurely origination charges of a number of hundred to thousand bucks. 
  • Predictable Interest Payments. The larger loans have decrease curiosity. You pay round 7% curiosity, relying on which degree you select. But there are not any surprises because of CreditStrong’s transparency. It publishes all its amortization tables so you’ll see precisely how a lot of your per month charge is going to curiosity as opposed to major earlier than you even join.
  • Flexible Account Options. Multiple choices can help you borrow as much as $25,000 over 60 months (5 years) with per month bills various in response to how giant a mortgage you wish to have CreditStrong to file. Choose from a $2,500 mortgage at $49 per 30 days, $5,000 at $99 per 30 days, $10,000 at $199 per 30 days, or $25,000 at $449 per 30 days.

This account is for you if you wish to maximize your credits profile so you’ll later practice for bank cards or private loans with upper balances and feature quite a few disposable revenue. If the per month bills shall be an issue or you’ve gotten different credits concerns, persist with an Instal account. For instance, should you’re purchasing a area quickly, your debt-to-income ratio is also extra necessary than different credits concerns.

The rate of interest in this account kind is way less than the Instal account’s. That mentioned, some other folks could possibly get similar common loans with a lot decrease rates of interest. If you’re a type of other folks, opt for it. 

Additional Features of CreditStrong

CreditStrong’s credit-building accounts have some notable options you must pay attention to earlier than opening an account. 

No Credit Check

Since they’re now not providing you with cash prematurely and the function is to construct your credits, CreditStrong doesn’t do a credits take a look at earlier than providing you with an account. As a financial institution, they will have to examine your identification. But making use of for CreditStrong doesn’t negatively impact your rating.

Monthly Credit Bureau Reports 

The level is to construct credits, so CreditStrong studies to the credits bureaus every month, making sure your credits rating advantages from excellent conduct. The first file occurs 30 to 60 days from account opening. 

But credits bureaus require corporations that report back to file all conduct, excellent or dangerous. So stay the ones on-time bills going or cancel your account. 

Free Monthly FICO Score

When you join a CreditStrong account, it means that you can set a credits rating function. Then, it supplies your per month FICO rating at no cost so you’ll monitor how shut you might be in your function.

Late Fees 

You need to make your bills on time and in complete. If you don’t, there’s a 14-day grace duration. But after that, they rate you along with reporting you to the credits bureaus. If you assume you’re going to be overdue, you’ll have choices, relying at the account kind.

Revolv means that you can alter your charge quantity to $0. But achieve this initially of the month to make sure you don’t owe a charge that duration.

For the Instal and CS Max accounts, you aren’t so fortunate. You will have to make steady on-time bills with out interruptions. So if you’ll’t make a charge, it’s higher to near the account than rack up more than one late-payment studies. You even get again the major you’ve already paid.

Penalty-Free Cancellation 

If you wish to have to cancel, don’t agonize. You can achieve this at any time with out paying any further charges or consequences. 

For Revolv, it’ll appear to be you closed a bank card. Your credits profile might display much less to be had credits, upper usage, and a decrease age of credits.  

For Instal and CS Max, it’ll display for your credits file simply as although you paid off the mortgage (or by no means took one out should you cancel earlier than the primary file). How giant a mortgage it presentations depends upon how a lot you’d paid while you canceled. 

But that doesn’t imply it gained’t impact your credits rating. Paying off a mortgage or ultimate a bank card affects some parts of your credits rating, equivalent to age and overall exceptional credits. So paying this one off early does the similar.

No subject what, you get again any cash paid as major for your Instal or CS Max accounts or as per month bills for your Revolv account.

FDIC Insured

The financial savings account your bills pass into is insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a government-run company that provides insurance coverage to banks. That implies that within the not going match the rest occurs to the financial institution, an insurance plans can pay out your cash.

Referral Program

You can ship your family and friends a novel hyperlink and earn $10 every time one among them makes their first charge. You will even proportion your hyperlink on social media. 

It’s now not some huge cash, however when you’ve got a wholesome social media presence, that you must probably offset your per month bills. 

How to Qualify for CreditStrong

To join credits robust, you don’t want best possible credits. But you do want:

  • To be a minimum of 18 years outdated
  • To be an enduring U.S. resident with a bodily U.S. place of abode and cope with 
  • A legitimate social safety quantity or particular person taxpayer id quantity 
  • A bank account, debit card, or pay as you go card in excellent status 
  • A legitimate telephone quantity
  • A verifiable electronic mail cope with

Advantages of CreditStrong

CreditStrong permit you to construct your credits whether or not you’ve tanked your rating with irresponsible use or have a credits score-to-income mismatch. Depending at the account kind you select, there are a number of advantages to the use of CreditStrong.

  • No Credit Check. Just as a result of secured bank cards and credit-builder accounts are intended for other folks with less-than-stellar credits doesn’t imply they by no means take a look at your credits. But CreditStrong doesn’t. They simply examine your identification.
  • Low Fees. The charges on their credit-builder loans are reasonably priced at $15 or $25, relying at the kind you get, plus curiosity. The Revolv account is a little bit pricier at $99 in keeping with yr, that could be dearer than different line-of-credit choices, equivalent to secured bank cards. But it additionally works otherwise and doesn’t rate curiosity on balances.
  • Reasonable Interest Rates. The Revolv account fees no curiosity. The Instal account fees rather greater than the common, despite the fact that you’ve gotten horrible credits. And the CS Max account fees about part the common. 
  • Transparent Fee Structure. You keep watch over the charge quantity for your Revolv account, and CreditStrong publishes the amortization time table for the credit-builder loans. That approach you already know precisely how a lot your per month charge shall be and what kind of is going towards curiosity earlier than you even join an account.
  • Longer Loan Terms. Lots of credit-builder loans remaining twelve months. You can stay renewing them, however every time you do, it prices you more cash and might negatively have an effect on your rating, a minimum of briefly. With CreditStrong’s longer mortgage phrases, you stay an extended mortgage for your credits historical past, which is able to lend a hand with the credits historical past period portion (15%) of your credits rating. 
  • Customizable. With CreditStrong, you’ll open more than one account varieties relying on what your credits rating wishes. Plus, you’ll choose between more than a few mortgage quantities, phrases, and per month bills. 
  • Options for the Cash-Positive. If you’ve gotten quite a few cash however wish to turn out you’ll reliably make the upper bills required through positive mortgage quantities and bank card varieties, CreditStrong has an account for you. Most credit-building choices are for many who simply have dangerous or no credits. 
  • Penalty-Free Cancellation. Life occurs. If your monetary state of affairs adjustments and you’ll not manage to pay for even the low per month bills CreditStrong calls for, you’ll cancel the account to make sure you don’t get destructive charge knowledge reported to the credits bureaus. You would possibly lose your one-time or annual bills should you cancel early, however the corporate gained’t penalize you any more.

Disadvantages of CreditStrong

CreditStrong is a forged possibility for any person who desires one-stop buying groceries to construct credits. But it’s now not with out its attainable drawbacks, so think twice about those cons earlier than signing up. 

  • No Secured Credit Card Option. A Revolv account can keep open indefinitely and completely lend a hand your period of credits so long as you stay renewing the account. But it really works extra like a financial savings account than a bank card. That improves your credits rating, however it doesn’t precisely provide you with apply the use of a bank card responsibly.
  • Ties Up Your Money. The longer you pay into the account, the more cash you’ve gotten tied up within the financial savings account related to it, which you’ll’t get entry to till you’ve fulfilled the duty (except you cancel). That’s standard, however because the credit-builder loans can also be for much longer with CreditStrong, it’s additionally one thing to imagine moderately. 
  • Verified Bank Account or Debit or Prepaid Card Required. You will have to have a verified checking account, debit card, or pay as you go card to make bills with, or you’ll’t join CreditStrong.
  • No Guarantees. CreditStrong, like different credit-builder corporations, sells a product that makes use of the best way FICO ratings paintings to lend a hand construct credits with much less chance than common loans or bank cards. How a lot it is helping depends upon how you employ it, whether or not you select the best merchandise, and different behaviors all through the time you’ve gotten the account. It’s now not a credit-repair provider and doesn’t take away destructive entries or ensure credits rating enhancements.
  • Penalty-Free Early Cancellation Still Has Drawbacks. CreditStrong doesn’t rate you further to cancel your account, however it should have a destructive have an effect on for your credits rating, a minimum of briefly. That’s true of all mortgage and credits merchandise, together with the common sort, so there’s not anything CreditStrong can do to mend it.
  • No App. CreditStrong doesn’t have an app you’ll obtain to make bills and watch your credits rating. You need to do the whole lot thru a browser. The web page seems to paintings smartly sufficient on cell, however it’s now not the similar as an app.

Is CreditStrong Legit?

CreditStrong is really reliable. It’s subsidized through Austin Capital Bank, headquartered in Texas. In truth, that’s how apparently for your credits studies. It’s an FDIC-insured group financial institution that’s been in trade since 2006. 

It’s dedicated to accountable fintech (monetary era) and created the protected on-line monetary products and services platform Trident Technology, which is what runs CreditStrong. 

Once you’re performed bettering your credits, you’ll have a financial savings account at a financial institution that spent seven years at the Inc. 5000 record of fastest-growing privately held corporations. 

How CreditStrong Stacks Up

CreditStrong has quite a few pageant within the credit-building sphere, however it’s one among just a handful that supply each credit-builder loans and line-of-credit choices. One of its closest competition is most probably Self. See how they stack up. 

CreditStrong Self
Multiple Credit-Builder Options Yes Yes
Line of Credit Option Yes, however now not a card Yes, a card
Hard Credit Pull No No
Loan Range Up to $25,000 Up to $1,663
Loan Terms 24 to 60 months 12 to 60 months
Interest Rate $0 to round 15% Around 16%

Alternatives to Consider

CreditStrong isn’t your best option for constructing your credits. You almost certainly gained’t to find one with the next reported mortgage quantity, but when it doesn’t look like the most productive fit for you, take a look at into those possible choices

Product Service Best For
Sable One A secured bank card
SeedFi Low per month bills
Money Lion Comprehensive monetary products and services

Final Word

CreditStrong is also the one selection for the cash-rich who simply need to turn out they are able to maintain still-more credits. But it’s a forged possibility for the ones with dangerous or restricted credits historical past too. 

The Revolv line-of-credit product could also be an enchanting selection for many who want credits growth however don’t need the siren tune of actual plastic to tempt them into spending greater than they are able to manage to pay for. But should you’re searching for a credits product to lend a hand teenagers or younger adults construct credits whilst finding out to make use of it, a secured bank card or student-friendly unsecured bank card could be a greater have compatibility.

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