8 Best Apps like Self to build credit really fast

Updated: March 15, 2024
Apps like Self credit builder

With a good FICO score in hand, many lenders will offer the best services to make ends meet. Getting a Self Visa credit card is difficult if you have low points or a bad payment history.

To access the best loans or other services, you must have at least a 700 FICO score or more. Fortunately, we have apps like Self that allow users to build their FICO points from the ground up.

Such apps work on your payment history, loan utilization, and account age; all these factors make up most of your financial score.

No doubt, the Self is the best bet for building financial points with no hard pull on your credit. Even though Self is the most affordable option out there, there are better alternatives that you would want to try.

Best apps similar to Self (Top alternatives)

Grain is a boon for people who seek a revolving line of credit with a debit card. It provides credit builder loans based on your cash flow without affecting your score.

In short, it is a credit card alternative with lots of perks. However, you can’t use it for services other than getting a loan.

Once you link your primary checking account with Grain, it analyzes your income and expenses to offer a revolving line of credit without sneaking into your payment history.

It has an interest rate of 15% APR with auto payment and 12% with manual payment. Unlike other apps like Self, it doesn’t charge monthly fees, but it waives off a 1% fee each time you make a withdrawal.

  • No monthly fees or credit checks.
  • Auto payment.
  • Low-interest rate.
  • 1% withdrawal fee.
  • No physical card.

Building credit has never been so easy, thanks to KikOFF for offering low-rate loans with easy approval. It addresses all the key factors that makeup about 80% of the financial score.

So, if you want to build credit from nothing, it’s the best option to go for. Using Kickoff is simple – you sign up and pick a plan that suits your budget.

You can buy something with your fund and repay periodically to boost your payment history every month. Best of all, you can use your debit card to pay the month’s due.

It reports your every payment to the major bureaus, which in turn increases your points. However, it doesn’t pull your credit, so there will be no impact on your score.

Also, it’s worth noting that KickoFF deducts 5% of your monthly payment if you fail to pay on time. To sum up, Kickoff is one of the best apps like Self to get a revolving credit line with a debit or credit card.

  • No minimum, fees, interest
  • Wide range of products, starting at $10.
  • Bank-level security
  • Can only purchase from the Kickoff store.
  • Capped at $500

You might like the best full-suite banking apps like One Finance.

Don’t want to get trapped in a vicious debt cycle? Give possible finance a try. It’s one of the best apps like Self to borrow money and build credit with no interest and fees.

With Possible Finance, you can get a personal loan of up to $500 with a bad payment history or no credit at all. Besides, it allows you to repay in small split payments, or you can reschedule your payment date without any further cost.

Undoubtedly, the platform is an incredible payday loan alternative, but not for everyone. Until you receive a steady income of at least $750 per month and have a driver’s license, you can’t get access to loans.

However, the amount of cash you can borrow depends on your cash flow and other factors.

On the whole, possible finance makes loans affordable for people with poor FICO scores. Currently, the app has over one million active users and is available on Android and iOS.

  • No fees and no interest.
  • Doesn’t impact your score.
  • Up to 2 days early paycheck.
  • Users can reschedule the due date.
  • Steady cash flow is required
  • Loan is limited to $500.

Want to boost your credit score by paying for your subscriptions? Grow has your back. It aims at increasing your financial score so you can get many lenders’ services with ease.

It houses over a hundred subscriptions—all you need to do is add your subscriptions to your Grow account and pay each month via its free Mastercard debit card to see your score grow.

Grow reports your payments to Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, which contributes to a better payment history. To start, all you need is a bank account, SSN, and residency in the US, along with your valid email address.

Note that it has three plans with different perks. The basic plan starts at $1 with a $17 monthly spending limit; the growth plan is $3.99 per month with a $50 spending limit, and the last plan is at $7.99 per month, which is capped at a $1,800 annual limit and a $150 monthly spending limit.

Each plan gives you access to premium subscriptions and other services, but more credit usage and savings are tied to higher plans.

  • No interest or credit check.
  • Offers discounts on your favorite subscriptions.
  • Up to $1800 annual limit.
  • Free FICO score and literacy education.
  • Requires bank account, and SSN.
  • Late fees are reported to bureaus.
  • Members can only use up funds on subscriptions.

One is an all-in-one companion for your financial health, built for anyone who has a bank account. It has an easy-to-use interface designed to see and manage daily finances quickly, all within the app.

It’s more than a bank, as it allows you to borrow, budget, save, and spend cash for free. When you link your direct deposit with One Bank, you receive a world debit card with access to over 55, 000 fee-free ATMs, as well as up to two days’ early paychecks, among other perks.

It also earns you an unlimited daily 3% APY using the card’s auto-save feature. That means your money never sleeps in the One Bank.

Unlike other apps like Self, it integrates your credit building into one account, making it easier to manage with the same card and account.

Just load your credit builder pocket with at least $20, and spend it on one card to boost your FICO score. There are no direct deposits or monthly fees required; you only need to have a positive credit history to qualify. 

  • No monthly fees, late fees, and interests.
  • Get your paycheck up to two days early.
  • Auto-payments.
  • Low borrow rates at 12% APR for direct deposit accounts.
  • Credit builder loans without direct deposit and 0% interest.
  • Integrated banking.
  • Users can use funds to buy everyday stuff.
  • Checks credit history.
  • Reports late fees.

Chime is our personal favorite banking app. It’s a complete banking solution that offers everything a person needs to streamline wealth. Best of all, it’s free to join and has no monthly fees or minimum deposits.

With Chime, you can receive your paycheck against your payday and build your credit history without any interest, credit checks, annual fees, or minimum deposits. 

Apart from that, Chime offers a high-yielding rate of 0.50% APY on your savings when you open a spending account. Back to the credit builder, eligible users can order a Visa credit card from Chime, and start building their credit with everyday purchases and on-time payments.

You can use it the same way as you would any regular credit card, the only difference being that you do not get the cashback and other perks that come with a traditional card.

It reports your payment history every month to the three major credit bureaus: Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. On average, users see an increase of 30 points, as claimed by Chime. However, if you don’t pay off on time, your score can take a toll. 

To get started, simply move your money from your spending account into a credit-builder account so that you can spend it on your card wherever Visa is accepted. You don’t need to worry about paying on your own – just turn on the Safer Credit Building feature, and it automatically pays your monthly balance on time without you knowing. 

If you need extra financial aid to cover your expenses, SpotMe is your best bet. SpotMe by Chime covers an overdraft of up to $200 when you get at least $200 in direct deposit every month. Also, it factors in your account activity, cash flow, and history to determine the overdraft limit. 

  • Overdraft protection up to $200. 
  • Up to two days early paycheck with direct deposit. 
  • No monthly fees, interest, or minimum deposit. 
  • Free Visa debit and credit card with access to over 60k+ for the fee-free ATMs.
  • Free Credit builder credit card with zero interest and $10000 daily upper limit on purchases. 
  • No credit utilization reporting. 
  • Automatic round-up saving while you spend through a debit card. 
  • FDIC insured.
  • $2.50 Out-of-network ATMs fee.
  • No rewards, cash back, or airline points.
  • Only spending account members can get the card.

From time to time, an unfortunate life event might leave you in a bind financially. Thanks to companies like Moneylion for providing quick and affordable payday loans, installment loans, personal unsecured loans, and more.

Moneyline offers all of its customers credit builder loans with fair interest rates designed around their needs and income.

For example, if you have poor or no credit history at all but need cash now to cover unexpected expenses, then consider applying for a credit builder loan from MoneyLion.

These loans are not traditional short-term loans and can be used to build your credit score over time by making timely payments on your loan. If approved, there are several options available: 0% APR loan for three months; 0% APR loan for six months; 0% APR loan for nine months; and 0% APR loan for twelve months.

Mint is a free, web-based personal finance company that helps you track your finances. With Mint, you can track your expenses, plan and save for purchases, set budgets, find new ways to save money, and reduce debt—all from one place.

And because it’s built around the web, it’s easy to access no matter where you are or what device you use. So if there’s something important happening in your financial life—you got a raise, bought a house or car, started saving for retirement, or took out a loan—Mint lets you know about it immediately, so you never miss a beat.

Wrapping it up

Whether you want to build credit, get early paychecks, or save money, these apps can help you get out of debt and streamline your finances. Each platform listed here differs in the features and plans they have to offer.

However, all the mentioned apps offer credit builder loans that result in improving your credit. Not only have we listed the best apps like Self, but you’ll also find them quite cost-effective as you work towards building your financial score.

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By ankit raghuwanshi
He is an editor-in-chief, an admin, and the guy who kickstarted TheAppFlow. He often wraps his head around personal finance or fintech apps and never shies away from learning new things that he can share with people to streamline their wealth.