Your credit score can significantly impact your life. Having a good score means you can unlock better financing opportunities and save money when making a major purchase.
However, improving your credit score can be difficult. Most lenders want to see some kind of credit history before providing a loan, but it’s tricky to build your credit history if you aren’t making regular loan payments.
Luckily, a credit builder loan can help solve this problem. Our SeedFi review will help you determine if the company’s credit builder loans are right for you.
SeedFi can help you build your credit while growing your savings at the same time.
- Build your credit
- Grow savings
- Reports to three major credit bureaus
- No hard credit check
- Relatively high upper-end APRs
- No payment date choice
- Funding can take several days
What is SeedFi?
SeedFi is a relatively new company that offers credit-building opportunities to Americans who have poor credit.
The founder, Eric Burton, created SeedFi based on the challenges he faced when dealing with his own bad credit score.
When he realized how limited the options to improve credit were, he wanted to create a solution to give low-income Americans more access to credit-building opportunities.
According to the SeedFi website, the company can help you borrow fearlessly, save without stress and confidently build credit.
SeedFi is currently available in 37 states, including Washington D.C., and the company expands to new states regularly.
How Does SeedFi Work
SeedFi offers loans that are designed to help you build credit and save money at the same time. The company provides two options to improve your credit, including Borrow & Grow and Credit Builder Prime.
Borrow & Grow
SeedFi’s Borrow & Grow plan offers loans with relatively low interest. You’ll borrow the funds you need for your immediate needs. Then, some extra savings are added to the loan.
Once the Borrow & Grow loan is originated, SeedFi requires monthly installment payments. The loan term can stretch between eight to 44 months.
As you make payments, SeedFi will report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus. This can help improve your credit score.
When you pay off the loan, you’ll unlock your savings account to access the savings portion of the loan principal.
Ultimately, this plan is a great way to improve your credit while growing your savings.
Credit Builder Prime
SeedFi’s other option is the Credit Builder Prime program. Like the Borrow & Grow product, you can use this plan to save money and build your credit.
When you sign up for Credit Builder Prime, you’ll need to commit to saving at least $10 per pay period.
If you follow through on this savings commitment, SeedFi will deposit $10 into a locked savings account each pay period. This locked savings account is called your line of credit. When you get paid, you’ll repay SeedFi.
Plus, SeedFi will report your payments to the three major credit bureaus.
Every time you save $500 through this process, you’ll gain access to the savings.
Since SeedFi has two different loan options, there are different pricing factors to keep in mind. Here’s a closer look at both.
Borrow & Grow Plan
As of May 2022, SeedFi offers loans with APRs ranging from 7.42% to 29.99%.
Depending on your loan amount, you can expect to pay between $40 to $160 every two weeks. You can make monthly payments, but the payment amount will double.
If you make late payments, you will have to pay a late fee.
Fortunately, SeedFi deposits those late fees into your SeedFi savings account. This means that you’ll get these funds back at the end of the term. That’s very rare for any kind of lender!
The upper end of this APR range is rather high. With a soft credit check, you can quickly find out what interest rates are available to you without subjecting your credit score to a hard inquiry.
Credit Builder Prime
Credit Builder Prime is very affordable. You’ll pay $1 per month, which is distributed across your payments.
Aside from the $1 per month fee, you won’t incur any interest, fees or hidden costs with this program. You also don’t need to make any sort of deposit to open an account.
Don’t forget that Credit Builder Prime requires you to commit $10 from every pay period to the locked savings account.
When exploring what SeedFi has to offer, the features below set them apart from the crowd.
Reports to the Three Major Credit Bureaus
Whether you choose the Credit Builder Prime program or the Borrow & Grow option, your payments will be reported to Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
If you consistently make on-time payments, you should see your credit score improve over time.
Proven Score Impact
SeedFi conducted a study to find out if their plans were really working. Based on data from TransUnion, customers who made on-time payments to all of their credit accounts for six months increased their credit scores by an average of 41 points.
Since the Credit Builder Prime program and the Borrow & Grow plan are both considered credit accounts, working with SeedFi could give your credit score a boost.
That said, your score will only improve if you are committed to making on-time payments.
Life gets busy, and late payments happen. That’s why automated options are so important.
Building credit on auto-pilot could be the ideal situation for you. After all, an auto-payment setup can help you avoid accidentally making a late payment.
If you use the Credit Builder Prime program, you can sign up for autosave. With this option, SeedFi will automatically transfer the amount you want to save each pay period for you.
No Security Deposit
When exploring your options to build credit, a secured credit card will come up as one of the most popular recommendations. Although secured credit cards can help you build credit, you’ll need an upfront down payment.
Fortunately, if you choose to work with SeedFi, you won’t need a down payment. Instead, you can start saving money and building credit right away.
This makes the service accessible to more people, especially those who might not have extra cash for the down payment required with secured credit cards.
SeedFi offers helpful personal finance information through their Money Talk platform. For example, you can learn about the different credit scores, loan interest, building credit and more.
Most articles are short and take five minutes or less to read.
The success stories are the best part of Money Talk. You’ll find empowering stories about credit building that just might be the encouragement you need to keep up with your payments and prioritize improving your credit.
When considering any financial service, reading customer reviews can be enlightening and help you determine if it’s the right option for you.
Here’s how SeedFi ranks across the various rating websites:
|Website||Ranking||Number of Reviews|
|Trustpilot||4.8 out of 5||2,400+|
|Google Play||4.6 out of 5||700+|
|Apple App Store||4.5 out of 5||250+|
|BBB||1 out of 5||3|
Here’s some feedback that users left on different websites:
“Process was easy, customer service was great. Loan details were very clear and made my experience quick by thorough. Very glad I chose seed fi! Would definitely recommend.” – Laquitta Merrill
“I applied a week ago and still don’t know the status. I have called multiple times a day, each day since only to be told that I’m prequalified and my application is being processed.” – Okina
“Every representative I spoke to was kind and friendly. Process was easy and quick, and my credit score did not have to be perfect. Everything was explained in full detail where you could understand.” – MLD
“Scammed out of $500. I’ve been getting the runaround from customer service for a week. Nobody can give me an explanation and I’m beyond frustrated. Don’t give them your money! You’ll never get it back.” – H Green
Alternatives to SeedFi
SeedFi is not the only company that offers credit builder loans. If you aren’t sure that it’s the ideal fit for you, you can consider these alternatives.
Digital Federal Credit Union
Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) offers a credit builder loan with the goal of helping you build up to $3,000 in savings while improving your credit.
When you work with DCU, you can choose a credit builder loan term between 12 and 24 months. But, unlike the Credit Builder Prime plan from SeedFi, you’ll end up paying more than $1 per month due to the 5% APR.
Additionally, you need to become a member of Digital Federal Credit Union to access their credit builder loan. Luckily, the application process is simple and doesn’t take much time.
MoneyLion is another credit builder loan option. You can borrow up to $1,000 at a time.
Like SeedFi’s Borrow & Grow plan, you can access a portion of your funds when you take out the loan. The rest of the loan principal will be stored in a savings account.
In addition to an APR between 5.99% and 29.99%, you’ll also have to pay a monthly membership fee of $19.99 to use this service.
Self provides credit builder loans for borrowers. The company offers automatic payments, no hard credit pull and the ability to track your credit score.
When you take out a loan with Self, the company will set up a CD account for you with your loan funds. As you make payments, Self will report those to the three major credit bureaus.
You’ll find interest fees that range from 14% to 16% through Self. Additionally, loan terms are between 12 and 24 months.
Before using SeedFi, here are some answers to frequently asked questions that can help you determine if the company can help you improve your credit score.
Applying for a loan with SeedFi takes roughly 10 minutes. Make sure to have your photo identification, income verification and proof of address handy in order to expedite the application process.
SeedFi doesn’t perform a hard credit inquiry for either of its products. This means that exploring your options with SeedFi shouldn’t impact your credit score.
For the Credit Builder Prime program, there is no soft credit inquiry or hard credit inquiry involved. However, for the Borrow & Grow plan, there is a soft credit inquiry.
You won’t have access to your SeedFi savings from a Borrow & Grow plan until you repay the loan. At the end of your loan term, the secured saving account is unlocked to give you access to your money.
If you are using the Credit Builder Prime program, you’ll have access to the funds in $500 increments. So, when you save your first $500, SeedFi will give you access to those funds.
The savings you build through SeedFi are set aside for you in an FDIC-insured savings account. As a saver, you can feel confident that the funds will be there when you reach the milestones needed to access them.
You can contact SeedFi via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you can call 888-858-8248 for assistance.
Customer service representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m daily.
If you want to build credit, it’s important to remember that results won’t happen overnight. However, using a tool like SeedFi can make the process easier.
Better yet, if you want to pair credit building with growing your savings, SeedFi is an excellent option.
Keep in mind that no matter what credit building service you use, you’ll still need to make on-time payments consistently to build your credit score.