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Chaz SomersApril 4, 20247 min read

Top 6 Credit building apps

avatar Chaz Somers

Chaz Somers started his professional career as a part-time social media contractor at ZayZoon and since then, has evolved into a full-time content marketing associate. Chaz’s love for branding and storytelling has led him to blog writing, clothing design and video production all within ZayZoon.

People are still struggling to keep up financially in 2024. Inflation rates may be improving but people still feel the affects of it from buying groceries to mortgaging homes. 

This has made building credit both more important and harder than ever. 

In the realm of personal finance, building a strong credit score is the equivalent of laying the foundation to your house. It’s critical in determining not only the stability but also the opportunities your financial future holds and your potential credit limit. 

With an app for everything these days, finding one that claims it can improve your credit score is easy—but do they really work? What are the best credit building apps?

In this article, we’ve researched the most common credit building apps and break down the six most popular to see what works and what doesn’t, so you don’t have to. 

In this list you will find credit building resources that can be managed through a user-friendly app on your smartphone.

We will provide a brief overview of the apps and their features, while providing unbiased feedback that we’ve found throughout the internet. 


Experian is a well known platform that helps many people check and improve their credit scores. On top of their financial support resources for both consumers and businesses, Experian offers many features to help improve, monitor and manage credit scores. 

Experian’s Free Credit Monitoring allows users to quickly sign up without the need of a credit card to detect possible fraud sooner and prevent any potential surprises when applying for credit. 

They offer customizable alerts and the ability to monitor your spending to know when there are changes to your spending or credit utilization ratio.

With Experian Boost, users can connect their bank account and select the bills they’d like to report. Seamlessly get bill payments and rent payments reported. They will monitor these payments that will either positively or negatively affect your Experian credit score which can all be seen within the app.


  • It’s free 

  • Instant access to your FICO score 

  • Quick and easy sign up (Just need banking information) 

  • FICO scores updated and reported to bureaus within minutes 


  • Works for your Experian credit report but has no effect on Equifax or Transunion reports

  • Not all payments are boost eligible 

  • There is no guarantee your credit score will improve  


Self is a credit-building company that offers credit cards and credit-building loans. With Self, you’ll be able to monitor your credit score, get reports sent to all three bureaus and cancel the service anytime. 

Self’s credit-building loan allows users to choose from multiple options and select a plan that works best for them, then pay that loan back over the course of 24 months. With a positive payment history, they'll get their initial loan back and receive a credit score increase.


  • Reports to all three bureaus 

  • Transparent fees 

  • Free rent reporting 

  • Good place to build credit with no/poor history 


  • Rumors of poor customer service 

  • High fees 

  • Non-refundable fees (Requires up-front $9 non-refundable processing fee and Self Visa secured credit card also has a $25 annual fee) 


KikOff is used by over one million people and has established itself as a trustworthy provider of credit-building services. They make disputing report errors easy, offer rent reporting and secured credit cards that can all help make building and maintaining a strong credit score much easier. 

KikOff currently offers three different credit-building products. A credit builder loan, similar to Self’s. A secure credit builder card, which acts more like a debit card and allows you to build credit without risk of going into debt.

Kikoff credit account reports to Equifax and Experian and is a revolving line of credit which allows you to purchase goods and services directly from KikOff. 


  • 0% APR

  • Multiple solutions that can be used in tandem 

  • Reports to all three credit bureaus (if you have both the credit account and credit-builder loan)

  • Can cancel account at any time (must pay any balance owed first)


  • $5 monthly fee

  • Must sign up for line of credit account to be eligible for credit-builder loan

  • Not available in Delaware or Indiana


StellarFi aims at making building credit as simple and seamless as possible. StellarFi also allows its users to increase their credit score simply by making on time payments of their bills. With StellarFi, you can get your credit score, add and pay any bills onto your account (utilities, rent, etc.) and build your credit score, similar to some of the other solutions on this list. 

One unique feature that StellarFi offers is the ability to connect streaming services and other similar subscriptions in this section. 


  • Reports to all three credit bureaus 

  • 30-day free trial 

  • Access to personal credit coaches 

  • Two levels of memberships 


  • Potential to miss payments would could negatively affect credit score

  • Doesn’t report payments before enrollment 

  • Limited customer service 

Credit Karma 

Credit Karma’s list of financial resources may be the most extensive one on this list. They offer many financial based services around credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, taxes and building credit. 

In their credit score section, you can find valuable resources like understanding your credit scores, what is a good credit score and quick tips for your financial health.

They also offer insight into your credit history, free credit report and free credit monitoring. 

However, Credit Karma’s credit builder tool is the true star in this cast of features—and getting set up is easy. 

First, open a Credit Karma Money Spend account and set up a direct deposit of $750 or more, choose how much you want to contribute (as little as $10 per paycheck), then your money goes into a locked savings account and they report each payment, which could help grow your payment history. 

Repeat these steps and grow your savings. Once you save $500, Credit Karma will transfer your money back to you.


  • Large free ATM network

  • Early access to wages with Credit Karma Money Spend Account

  • 4.10% Annual Percentage Yield on savings account 

  • No minimum deposits or monthly bank maintenance fees


  • Only reports to two bureaus 

  • Too many product recommendations 

  • Requires a new checking account for bill tracking and Credit Builder features


Money Lion is a platform that offers a plethora of financial services. They offer Earned Wage Access, online banking and investment management tools. As well as borrowing solutions by way of credit cards, personal loans and refinancing. 

Money Lion also offers credit builder loans to help improve your credit score. Although a relatively standard credit-building loan, similar to others in this list, one unique aspect of MoneyLion’s offering is the ability to combine their EWA service, Instacash, into its credit-building loan. 

Not only can you build up credit by making payments on time, you can also access your money ahead of its normal schedule to improve cash flow even further. 


  • Reports to all three bureaus 

  • No credit check required

  • Cash back rewards/loyalty programs 

  • Highly rated app with user-friendly interface 


  • $19.99 a month 

  • CFPB lawsuit 

  • 12-month loans only (no flexibility)

The truth about credit building apps

Credit building apps have certainly made things easier than they once were. 

These apps have made slowly progressing towards your goals much more attainable and manage to do so in an extremely user-friendly way. 

Credit building loans, secure credit cards and other credit building solutions can each be viable ways to improve or get started with your credit score. Fortunately, there’s many different options and plans to choose from. 

Once you’ve found the one that fits your needs the best, we recommend keeping these few things in mind: 

Building credit takes time 

If you plan on buying a house next week but need better credit, all the apps in the world won’t be able to help you. If you’ve found yourself planning for your future and want to see what your options for improvement are, these apps may be just for you. 

Do the due diligence

All of the options on this list offer a ton of transparency but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the best rates or practices. Be sure to read deeply into all the details of the specific credit line you choose. 

Check with your bank 

If you have access to a bank, do some research there as well. These apps typically offer quick and easy solutions to help slowly start progressing towards better credit but your bank may also be able to help or even offer similar services. 


Chaz Somers

Chaz Somers started his professional career as a part-time social media contractor at ZayZoon and since then, has evolved into a full-time content marketing associate. Chaz’s love for branding and storytelling has led him to blog writing, clothing design and video production all within ZayZoon.