If you have a Wells Fargo bank account, auto loan, or other type of banking product, and you are looking for ways to build credit, then you might be looking at Wells Fargo for the solution.
Unfortunately, Wells Fargo doesn’t offer a credit building loan or any other type of secured loan or secured credit card to help those with poor credit improve their situation.
Wells Fargo used to have a secured credit card, but at the time of this writing, they are no longer accepting new applicants for it.
They do offer credit building advice and a host of unsecured loans and credit cards that can help your credit. But these products will be difficult to qualify for if your credit isn’t already great.
So, if you are looking for a credit builder loan or other product/service to help you build credit, you’ll need to look at solutions outside of Wells Fargo.
So Does Wells Fargo Offer a Credit Builder Loan?
No. Wells Fargo does not offer a credit builder loan or any other credit product geared towards those with bad credit.
In fact, on their website, when discussing how to rebuild your credit, Wells Fargo outright states the following:
“Consider applying for a secured loan or secured credit card, to help rebuild your credit. While Wells Fargo does not offer these products, some financial institutions may offer secured loan options or secured credit cards, which may be an alternative to help rebuild your credit history when used responsibly.”
Wells Fargo does offer a variety of other loan products, including personal loans, auto loans, student loans, mortgage loans, etc.
What Wells Fargo Products Build Credit?
While Wells Fargo does not offer a dedicated credit building loan or credit card, their portfolio of banking products can still help you to build your credit history.
Wells Fargo offers mortgage loans, personal loans, student loans, and auto loans as well as a line of Wells Fargo credit cards, all of which can help you build better credit.
The personal loans they offer range from $3000 to $100,000 with repayment terms stretching between 12 months to 7 years. These are traditional unsecured loans that help you build your credit by reporting payment history and loan balance to the credit bureaus.
But, you’ll need a decent credit score to qualify for these loans, somewhere in the neighborhood of 660.
There are three credit cards that Wells Fargo offers that help the credit utilization, payment history, and credit mix portions of your credit score. But, much like their loans, you’ll need a decent FICO score in order to receive approval.
Our Recommendations for Credit Builder Loans
Why are you trying to build credit?
The answer to this question can help you determine which credit building loan or other product is the best for you.
For instance, if you’re just starting out, any new credit will be beneficial for you. At Digital Honey, we recommend getting one installment account and three revolving lines of credit.
If you don’t have any installment accounts, a credit builder loan is a great place to start. If you don’t have any revolving credit accounts, we recommend getting credit cards.
And what your credit report looks like will be a determining factor in which credit building solution is the right one for you.
This company actually offers several different plans geared towards the different goals that their customers may have.
For those needing a short-term or low-cost credit building solution, they offer a Subscribe plan of up to $2500, and you can customize the repayment length to best suit your needs and finances.
Customers that need to build their credit and save up money, can choose the Save and Build plan.
If you are trying to improve your credit to qualify for a mortgage, this can be a great plan as it will allow you to build credit while simultaneously saving money to put as a down payment on a home.
If you are a budding entrepreneur looking to qualify for a business loan, Credit Strong’s Magnum plan could be your ticket to a good credit score and prove to your lender that you are capable of handling large commitments.
All of Credit Strong’s credit builder loans have low-entry requirements, including no minimum score needed and no hard credit pulls. This makes their product an excellent fit for those with poor credit or no credit who receive rejections for traditional loans.
Their customizable loan term lengths of up to 10 years also make these credit builder loans far more effective than their competitors. Their plans start at just $15 per month.
Self Financial, formerly called Self Lender, offers two credit building products, a credit builder loan and a secured credit card.
Their credit builder loan maxes out at a value of $1800, with repayment terms stretching up to 2 years.
Their secured Visa Card can be added to the credit builder loan and will use your loan payments to establish a security deposit and credit limit. Because the credit card is tied to your credit builder loan, there is no credit check needed, and approval is guaranteed.
A good credit score is built upon many factors, and utilizing both of Self’s credit building products can help establish a good payment history, low credit utilization level, and put you on track towards a good credit mix (1 installment account and 3 revolving accounts).
This makes them especially powerful tools for those just starting out with credit and whose goals are building credit to qualify for unsecured credit cards and loans.
Just watch out for the loan fees as well as the annual fee on the credit card.
If you are completely new to credit and personal finances (i.e. a recent high school graduate or college student), then perhaps Chime, with their full suite of mobile banking services and their credit building account, will be a good fit for you.
Chime’s core product is a fee-free checking account as well as an optional savings account. The latter of which is required for their credit builder account.
When it comes to building credit, Chime’s solution is a type of secured credit card instead of a loan.
It works using money that you transfer over from your attached savings account as both a deposit and payment method for your credit card. In this sense, it works more like a prepaid card than a credit card, but it does help your credit by reporting your payment history.
So, if you are trying to build credit, but already have an installment loan reporting on your credit (i.e. student loan), or you are in the market for a new place to bank, Chime could be worth looking into.
Another good solution that meets a wide variety of financial needs is MoneyLion. This company offers online banking, investment accounts, and a credit builder product.
MoneyLion’s credit builder loan is on the short-term side, similar to the one offered by Self Financial. The loan value is set at $1000 and the loan term is 12 months.
This low value and short repayment term might not be the best solution if you are trying to rebuild credit that was damaged by late payments or charge-offs, but it can be a great way to land a more favorable interest rate on a mortgage or auto loan.
So, if you were looking for a bank, but Wells Fargo misses the mark because they don’t offer a credit building product, maybe consider MoneyLion as an alternative.
Alternative Ways to Build Credit
Credit builder loan programs and other types of secured loans are some of the most common tools people use to build or rebuild their credit, but these loans are not the only credit building solutions.
There are plenty of alternative methods out there, some of which might actually be a better fit for your financial situation and goals.
Open a Secured Credit Card
Secured credit cards have a much lower barrier to entry than unsecured credit cards. This is because of the security deposit that you shell out upfront. So if you suddenly stop paying your statements, the lender can use your security deposit to pay off your charges.
This makes it more likely that you’ll get approved for the card, even if you have less than stellar credit.
And, if you already have an installment loan reporting on your credit profile, but no revolving credit lines, opening a credit card is the next logical step.
Making on-time monthly payments on your secured credit card will help you build a good payment history and the card issuer may upgrade you to a rewards-earning unsecured credit card after only a few months.
Take Out a Personal Loan
Opening a credit building loan with a company that specializes in them, isn’t the only way to build credit using an installment loan.
Check with your current bank to see what options they offer. In lieu of a credit building loan, they may offer a different type of personal loan that is backed by your savings account.
This type of loan will allow you to build credit much like a credit builder loan, and by using your own savings as collateral, the lender is much more likely to approve this loan, even if you have poor credit.
There are also other types of unsecured personal loans with dedicated uses for debt consolidation, home improvement, etc. These loans will also help you improve your credit but will likely have a higher credit score requirement.
Consider Becoming an Authorized User
If you are looking for a small boost to your credit score, or you are struggling to qualify for credit products on your own because of age (under 21), then becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account might be a good move.
This allows you to tap into their good payment history, long length of account history (how long the credit card has been opened), and low credit utilization rate to boost your own credit reports.
Unfortunately, the credit bureaus will not weigh this account the same way as they would weigh an account that is in your name. So the boost to your credit score may not be as much as you were hoping for.
You can also consider having someone co-sign on a credit card with you. This will help your credit score more since the account is in your name, and your co-signer does not have actual access to the credit line, they just provide a backup method to the bank for obtaining payment.
Amanda Garland is a personal finance blogger living in Dallas, TX. 10 years ago she was living paycheck to paycheck and knew nothing about how credit works. She learned some hard lessons in her fight for financial stability. Now she has a friendly competition going with her husband to see who can reach a credit score of 850 first. She is also a poet, having obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing.