Credit Strong Review: Build Credit And Savings At The Same Time

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A good credit score can help you access better financing options for major purchases. In fact, good credit could save you thousands of dollars in interest payments. 

Unfortunately, building good credit can be easier said than done. Luckily, Credit Strong can help you improve your credit score through credit builder loans. 

Our Credit Strong review can help you decide if the service is a good fit for your needs as you work to build your credit history.

credit strong logo
3.8
Overall Rating

Summary

Credit Strong can help you build credit through a credit builder loan. You’ll find a variety of loan options to match your budget and priorities. 

  • Ease of use

    4

  • Ability to build credit

    4.5

  • Fees

    3

Pros

  • Reports to 3 major credit bureaus 
  • No credit check to sign up
  • Wide range of payment terms
  • No fee to cancel at any time

Cons

  • One time admin fee of $15
  • Must pay interest 
  • Requires bank account in good standing

What is Credit Strong?

credit strong homepage

Credit Strong is a fintech company that is a division of Austin Capital Bank. Since its launch, the bank has expanded its reach across the nation. 

Currently, you can become a Credit Strong customer if you live in any state except Wisconsin and Vermont. 

The company offers a hybrid of a secured consumer installment loan and a savings account. Essentially, it helps you improve your credit by building your payment history while saving money.

According to Credit Strong’s website, they are trustworthy, transparent, dedicated, flexible and secure, making them a great option to improve your credit and increase your savings.

Credit Strong is FDIC insured and has been a member of the “Inc. 5000 List” of America’s fastest-growing companies for four years.

How Does Credit Strong Work?

Credit Strong offers credit builder loans and savings accounts to borrowers who are looking to boost their credit scores. These loans are reported as installment loans and are held in a CreditStrong account. 

There is one key difference between Credit Strong loans and regular installment loans. The differing factor is that you won’t receive the loan funds upfront. 

Instead, a credit builder loan is more easily characterized as a reverse installment loan. You’ll be responsible for making regular installment payments to Credit Strong. 

At the end of your loan term, you’ll receive the principal value in your bank account. Essentially this means you are making payments to yourself throughout the loan term.

Credit Strong will keep the interest payments attached to your loan in exchange for its part in the process. 

How Much Does Credit Strong Cost?

A Credit Strong account is the fusion of a secured consumer installment loan and a savings account.

Here are more details about the personal credit builder loan plans offered by Credit Strong.

Instal 

Credit Strong Instal

The Instal level is likely the best option for people with bad credit who want to get an installment loan on their credit report but don’t have much cash to spare each month. 

If you choose Instal, you’ll have access to two different price points that can both help you build your credit score. 

These include:

Product NameLoan AmountMonthly Payment
Build$1,000$15
Build & Save$2,500$30

You can choose a custom payment term of up to 120 months and can cancel at any time without a penalty.  

MAGNUM

CreditStrong Magnum

The MAGNUM options are available for anyone who wants to build credit with a large installment loan and can afford a relatively large monthly payment. 

There are two different price points to consider:

Product NameLoan AmountMonthly Payment
MAGNUM 5000$5,000$55
MAGNUM 10000$10,000$110

You can choose a custom payment term of up to 120 months. As with all the other levels, you have the ability to cancel at any time without a penalty. 

Revolv

Credit Strong Revolv

While this account is not currently available, the website offers it as coming soon and gives you the option to be notified via email when it launches.

Which Plan is Right for You?

Although each of these loan options could be the solution you’ve been searching for, each one comes with a cost.

 If you need a lower loan amount and want smaller monthly payments, the Instal option could be ideal for you.

However, if you need a larger loan and are ok with bigger payments each month, MAGNUM could be the better option.

Additionally, it might be wise to sign up for an alert to be notified when Revolv launches.

Key Features

Credit Strong’s features might make it the credit building option you’ve been looking for. Here are some of the key features that set the company apart from the competition. 

Fast Application

Credit Strong’s application process is quick and easy. When working with Credit Strong, it should only take minutes to apply for a credit builder loan.

Once approved, you can start making payments right away. 

Throughout the course of the loan, Credit Strong will store your funds in an FDIC insured savings account. After paying off the loan, you will be able to access the savings account and get you funds.

Track Record Of Results

The results of a credit builder loan cannot be guaranteed. After all, you’ll need to keep making regular on-time payments that get reported to the three credit bureaus.

Fortunately, Credit Strong has seen strong numbers from their customers. The average Credit Strong customer will see their credit score increase 25+ points within three months of opening an account. 

Better yet, Credit Strong customers that make all their payments on time for a full year see their credit score increase by almost 70 points.

No Security Deposit

Secured credit cards are a common option used to improve credit scores. However, a secured card will require an upfront down payment to get the ball rolling. 

Unlike a secured card, you won’t have to make a security deposit to apply for a credit builder loan. Instead, you’ll make monthly payments for an extended period of time.

Choose What You Care About

When building credit, everyone has different goals in mind. Credit Strong takes that into account and steers clear of the one-size-fits-all approach. 

Instead, you’ll find seven different credit builder loan options for personal users. Plus, you’ll discover two more options for businesses.

credit strong monthly payment options image

Credit Strong has created great choices for people who want to stick with the lowest monthly payment, savers and those who want to report the largest installment account possible. 

Ultimately, you can choose a credit builder loan that suits your priorities. 

Cancel At Anytime

You’ll be able to cancel your Credit Strong account at any time. There is no prepayment fee or early termination fee to consider. 

However, you’ll want to remember that closing your account early could leave your credit score stagnant. The company will cease reporting payments to your credit report when the account is closed. 

If this happens, you might not see your score continue to rise. 

Credit Strong Reviews

As with any service, it can be helpful to see what other customers have to say before signing up.

Better Business Bureau

Credit Strong has not been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, nor does it have any ratings from users.

However, the company has received 45 complaints through the platform. In most cases, Credit Strong made an effort to resolve the issue. 

The fact that the company doesn’t provide a loan upfront was a common theme in the customer complaints. However, the company is not designed to provide an upfront loan. 

Instead, you will receive a portion of your funds at the end of the loan term. Credit Strong is transparent about this, so the delay in being able to access funds shouldn’t be a surprise to customers.

Trustpilot

Credit Strong earned 2.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. That said, the company only has three reviews on Trustpilot, so it is hard to get a good gauge of how people really feel about the service.

Credit Strong Alternatives

If you aren’t convinced that Credit Strong is the right option for you, here are some alternatives to consider as you build your credit history.

Self

Self helps you build credit while saving money. The service sets up a CD account for you using loan funds.

You make payments each month in order to pay off the loan and gain access to the funds. Then, your payment history is reported to the three major credit bureaus.

Self charges interest fees ranging from 14% to 16%. Loan terms are anywhere from 12 to 24 months.

Read our Self Review for more information.

MoneyLion

MoneyLion offers CreditBuilder loans. These loans allow you to borrow up to $1,000 at a 5.99%-29.99% interest rate.

In addition to the interest rate, you need to pay a monthly membership fee of $19.99.

MoneyLion will give you access to a portion of your loan right away. This can be helpful if you can’t wait for the funds.

FAQ

Before you sign up for Credit Strong, these frequently asked questions might be able to help you decide if the service is right for you.

Is Credit Strong legit?

Yes, Credit Strong is a legitimate company and is a division of Austin Capital Bank. Its credit builder loans can help you build credit, especially if you lack a payment history. 

The company is also FDIC insured.

How fast does Credit Strong work?

Credit Strong will report your installment loan payments monthly. That said, it can take up to three months to see the initial impact on your credit score. 

According to the website, the average customer sees an increase of 25+ points within the first three months.

Who does Credit Strong report to?

The platform reports to the three major credit bureaus as you build your credit history. These include Experian, Equifax and TransUnion

Do I need a Social Security number to register?

Yes. If you want a Credit Strong loan, you need a valid Social Security number.

Summary

A Credit Strong loan could be the credit building option you’ve been searching for. The lack of a deposit requirement and suite of repayment options means most people can find a good option for their budget. 

Before jumping in, take a minute to evaluate your credit needs. While having a good credit score can be important, you might need to focus on other financial priorities first.

Ultimately, if you want to improve your credit while saving money, a Credit Strong account is worth considering.

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