8 Best Credit Builder Loans of 2023

Credit-builder loans, one kind of personal loan, are an efficient way to demonstrate that you can make on-time payments if you still need to get a credit history or are attempting to rebuild your score. One of the most significant things you can do to enhance your financial situation is to improve your credit score. A low credit score may prevent you from accessing particular financial products because lenders use it to assess whether you’re a reliable borrower.


We’ll explain how credit-building loans operate, the Best Credit Builder Loans, and whether getting one can raise your credit scores to demystify them. You can start along the path to a better credit score by comparing the best credit builder loans listed below.

Best Credit Builder Loans
Photo credit: Business Insider

What is a Credit Builder Loan?

Loans with a quick approval process, known as credit builder loans, are made exclusively for persons who need to build credit because they lack a strong credit history or have previously had credit issues.


Best Credit-Builder Loans are widely perceived as the opposite of traditional loans. Instead of giving the borrower a large sum of money at the start of the term, the lender keeps the funds in the borrower’s name in a secure savings account or certificate of deposit (CD) until the loan is returned.

Best Credit Builder Loans 

Banks, credit unions, and online lenders are just a few financial entities providing credit builder loans. The interest rates, loan amounts, fees, and terms of these loans are all flexible. It’s essential to weigh your options to ensure you get the Best Credit Builder Loans, which must be affordable loans with low-interest rates and few or no fees while reporting to credit reporting agencies.


Massachusetts-based Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) offers one of the Best Credit Builder Loans with low rates, no credit check, no fees, and flexible terms. Although their rules for membership eligibility make joining more challenging, there is a simple solution. For $10, you may sponsor a local event or give to one of the DCU-affiliated charities like Reach Out for Schools.


Amount: $500 to $3,000

Terms: 12, 18, or 24 months

APR: 5.00%


Type: Secured

Credit Check? No

Fees: None

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A fintech business called MoneyLion focuses on developing financial services for underserved populations. Enrolling in their Credit Builder Plus Membership allows you to apply for a MoneyLion credit builder loan without checking your credit.


Amount: $500 to $1,000

Terms: 12 months.

APR: 5.99% to 29.99%.


Type: Secured.

Credit Check? Yes, Soft Inquiry.

Fees: $19.99 monthly membership.




Self is a different fintech firm that offers pre-packaged loan conditions and one of the Best Credit Builder Loans. The monthly payments range from $25 for 24 months to $150 for 12 months. Your funds are put into a 12- or 24-month CD, where they are earning interest.

Amount: $600 to $1,800

Terms: 12 or 24 months.

APR: 15.65% to 15.97%.

Type: Secured

Credit Check? Yes, Soft Inquiry

Fees: $9 administrative fee + variable finance charge (up to $146).



Using larger loans, Credit Strong can assist you in improving your credit score significantly, but be aware of the risk. Longer loan durations and larger payments could be challenging to maintain. But Credit Strong also provides smaller loan alternatives that are more comparable to those offered by the other lenders on our list.

Amount: $1,000 to $10,000

Terms: 12 to 120 months (10 years)

APR: 5.907% to 15.51%

Type: Secured

Credit Check? No

Fees: Variable admin fee between $15 and $25 (depending on the plan)



Greater Boston residents and those in the neighborhood can use Metro Credit Union to get a cheaper APR than DCU with no additional costs. The only drawback is that Metro CU makes a hard inquiry, temporarily lowering your credit score for one to two years.

Amount: $500 to $3,000

Terms: 12 or 24 months

APR: 4.10%.

Type: Secured

Credit Check? Yes, Hard Inquiry

Fees: None.



SEFCU, which has its headquarters in the state capital of New York, is one of the best credit builder loans available and has the lowest interest rate of any credit builder loan we could locate, coming in at just 0.75%. The sole requirement is that you must reside in the neighborhood and pay a one-dollar membership fee to join.

Amount: $500 to $3,000.

Terms: 5 years max term (no minimum).

APR: 0.75%.

Type: Secured

Credit Check? Yes, Hard Inquiry

Fees: None



A wide range of terms is available from Republic Bank to meet practically everyone’s demands. The average APR for their nine specific products is only 5% to 6%, and monthly payment alternatives are as little as $21.89. There is only your monthly loan payment and the one-time $10 processing fee.

Amount: $500 to $1,500.

Terms: 12, 18, 24 months.

APR: 5.373% to 8.055%.

Type: Unsecured.

Credit Check? Yes, Hard Inquiry

Fees: $10 processing fee.


Heartland Bank

The Heartland Bank’s Small Dollar Loan Program includes the credit builder loan. This program is made to help you build or improve your own credit. During repayment, your money will be deposited into a Heartland Bank Simply Savings Account, where you’ll earn interest.


Criteria we use in choosing these loans

  • Affordable loans that report to the credit reporting agencies 

The cost was the first criterion we looked at when selecting these best credit builder loans. Interest rates and fees are two ways a loan might be cheap. The loan must have few or no fees and a low-interest rate.

  • Appropriate Loan Amount & Term

The loan amount and terms were other factors we considered while selecting these best credit builder loans.


Will a Credit Builder Loan raise my credit scores?

You can raise your scores using credit-builder loans because payment history is crucial to credit scoring. At least one major credit agency, such as Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion, receives the notification of on-time payments. These loans may enable borrowers to accumulate funds over time.



Only some people should take out credit-building loans. This product may not be for you if you already have debt or struggle to make your monthly payments. However, a credit builder loan can help you raise your credit score if you have no other obligation and can afford the monthly payment.

The best credit builder loans are an economical solution to raise your credit score if you’re trying to do so. Remember to consider additional possibilities, such as requesting a secured credit card, to ensure that you have a variety of credit available when you decide to take out this kind of loan. As the best strategy to raise your score, locate the most affordable credit-building loan.

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