Self Lender Review and How They Can Help You Improve Your Credit History

Are you looking to find Self Lender reviews? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! I recently joined a Facebook group focused on personal finance and was turned onto an article by The Penny Hoarder. The post is about a man named Derrick Camber and how he improved his credit score by 145…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Self Lender Reviews

Are you looking to find Self Lender reviews? If so, then you’ve come to the right place!

I recently joined a Facebook group focused on personal finance and was turned onto an article by The Penny Hoarder. The post is about a man named Derrick Camber and how he improved his credit score by 145 points in just five months!

A few years ago, Camber was working as a server and lost his job unexpectedly. To keep up with bills, he was forced to move, sell his car, and eventually take out high-interest payday loans. In the midst of the chaos, he let a few small bills slip and didn’t realize that he would suffer harsh consequences.

A couple years later, Camber was shocked when he checked his credit reports and noticed that he had 22 negative items. Even though he was fully employed again, and making $65,000 a year, his hopes of financing a new car had to be put on hold. That’s when he discovered Self Lender.  Here’s a quote from Camber, “I love Self Lender and wish I would have found out about the service sooner!”  

Related posts on Self Lender reviews:

I’ve been seeing a lot of these credit success stories lately, and they all seem to revolve around the same company, Self Lender.

I was excited to learn more about this affordable approach to improving my credit score, so I decided to go to the source to learn more about the product.

If you have no credit score or a bad credit score, you’ll want to read more.

Building your credit can be hard, but it is possible. Your credit score affects many important decisions throughout your life, and you don’t want to be surprised by a bad score. Plus, having a good credit score can save you thousands of dollars.

Your credit score impacts:

  • if you’re approved for a home loan.
  • how large of a home loan you are given.
  • the size of the down payment you are required to put down.
  • your interest rate.
  • your home and car insurance rate.
  • whether an employer decides to hire you.
  • whether a landlord approves your rental application.

Here’s my Self Lender review:

I sat down with James Garvey, CEO of Self Lender, for a Q&A session and here’s what he had to say:


What is a credit builder loan?

A credit builder loan is a small, CD-secured loan that’s held in an FDIC-insured bank account for 12 months.  The purpose of these loans is to help people establish their credit history, in a safe and responsible way.  Unlike a secured credit card, our users don’t need to make a large upfront payment to secure their loan.


How does Self Lender work?

When a user signs up for an $1,100 credit builder loan with Self Lender, they make 12 monthly payments that are all reported to the three major credit bureaus. According to the credit bureaus, payment history accounts for 35% of a credit score, so making on-time payments is very important.

Self Lender’s credit building loans work like this:

  • Our users apply online for a credit builder loan and pay a one-time $12 administrative fee at origination.
  • Our banking partner, Austin Capital Bank, lends the user money which is held in a CD-secured account in their name for 12 months.
  • Over the course of a year, the user makes 12 monthly payments to pay off the credit builder loan. Self Lender reports their monthly payment history to all three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
  • At the end of the 12-month term, the user has paid off the loan and their CD has matured and earned interest.  The user has demonstrated 12 months of positive payment history, and has saved $1101.10.
  • The loan is paid to the user via check or ACH payment!

Users have the option to set up auto-pay, and every month $97 is automatically withdrawn from a user’s bank account to pay toward the loan.  At the end of the term the CD unlocks, after it has matured, and the 0.10% APY growth rate allows the user to withdraw $1,101.10.  Over the course of the term, the user will have paid $1,164 toward the loan, plus a one-time $12 admin fee.  After a user receives their savings of $1,101.10, the entire out of pocket cost ends up being around $75.

(Here’s the math: $1,164 + $12 – $1,101.10 = $74.90 out-of-pocket)


How much does it cost to use Self Lender’s service?

Self Lender is free to join. The membership includes free credit monitoring and account alerts, as well as access to our blog, which provides excellent information about credit and finances.


What success stories do you know of?

Cathrine A., from San Francisco, CA recently moved to the United States. While she had years of respectable credit in another country, it seemed impossible to prove that to lenders in the U.S. Cathrine knew the steps she needed to take, but couldn’t find a company to actually help her.

“I think people that are new to the country often feel alienated by a system that doesn’t take into account that you actually do have money and an established line of credit in another country and you have to start from scratch completely and it takes YEARS if you don’t invest time and energy into figuring out how to build credit.”

“Self Lender is the only company that I found that could offer me a solution to my problem,” said Cathrine. “ I LOVE the idea and the execution is great! My account was up and running in no time, and I saw a steady increase in my credit score!”

Brett M. in Omaha, NE was excited from the start.

“I love the idea of this service!” said Brett. “My credit union offers lines of credit for building your credit, but they are secured loans that you have to put the money down for, which helps me none. Self Lender doesn’t require any money up front, which is great for someone who wants to save, but doesn’t have the money up front.”

“In 12 months my credit should be back on track , and I’ll have an extra grand saved to help me with a down payment on a house!”


How can a person join Self Lender?

Joining Self Lender is easy and only takes a few minutes. Users sign up online at Self Lender performs a soft credit pull, so consumers won’t need to worry about an inquiry on their credit report.

Self Lender also has a great referral program, so I recommend you check that out as well!

How’s your credit score? What are you doing to improve it? What other Self Lender reviews have you checked out?

Filed under:

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

Like this article?

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Interesting post Michelle.Self Lender seems like a nice way to build credit without exposing yourself to much risk.

  2. Hi Michelle!

    This is awesome! I’d never heard of this service. After a rough year a couple years back, I have been trying to rebuild my tarnished credit. I’m definitely going to check this out!


  3. Amanda-LivingFullyandFree

    This is a very interesting idea! I will be looking into this!


  4. Tyler DeBroux

    Wow, I’ve never heard of a credit building service like this before. This is a genius idea!

  5. David

    I am seriously considering this as a proactive way to build my credit that was ruined after a couple of years of bad luck. I wonder how many points it will improve your score?