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Self Visa® Credit Card

Cory Santos

| Last updated on February 14th, 2024

Self Financial compensates us when you sign up for Self Financial using the links provided.

Self Visa® Credit Card

Self Visa® Credit Card
Fair-Poor-No Credit Required
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Fair / Poor / No Credit Required
Visa Processing Network
$25 Annual Fee

Self Visa® Credit Card

  • 29.24% (Variable) Regular Purchase APR

At a Glance

The Self Visa® Credit Card is a secured credit card that pairs with an existing Self Credit Builder Account. The card has no formal approval process. Instead, hopeful consumers simply need to open a Self account and save over $100 to fund the secured Visa account.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • If you have an active Credit Builder Account in good standing, 3 on time payments, $100 or more in savings progress and satisfying income requirements you may be eligible to receive the Self Secured Visa Credit Card*, without a hard credit check. Criteria subject to change. • Build credit and savings at the same time. • Start with a Credit Builder Account* that reports monthly payments to all 3 major credit bureaus. • At the end of your plan, unlock the savings you built — minus interest and fees. • The Self Visa® Secured Credit Card* is accepted at millions of locations in the U.S.
    *Credit Builder Accounts & Certificates of Deposit made/held by Lead Bank, Sunrise Banks, N.A., SouthState Bank, N.A., First Century Bank, N.A., each Member FDIC. Subject to credit approval. Self Visa® Credit Card issued by Lead Bank, First Century Bank, N.A., or SouthState Bank, N.A., each Member FDIC. See for details. Subject to ID Verification. Individual borrowers must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security Number are required. All loans are subject to consumer report review and approval.
  • Regular Purchase APR: 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee: $25
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $15
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $15
  • You're serious about raising your credit score
  • You already have a Self Credit Builder Account
  • You don’t mind the card's $25 annual fee
  • You plan to pay your card balance in full every month

In-Depth Review: Self Visa® Credit Card

The Self Visa Credit Card is a secured card designed to help build credit – fast. From leading fintech, Self,  the card isn’t available for direct applications, opening a Self Credit Builder Account and making on-time payments will guarantee you the credit building secured card – and the purchasing power of the visa network.

How to Get the Self Visa® Credit Card

The Self Visa® Credit Card approval process is a little different than other secured credit card accounts. Because Self is a credit builder startup, the process involves a potential applicant getting their hands dirty with the company and growing their credit portfolio.

This process begins with opening a Self Credit Builder Account. Self’s Credit Builder Account is a unique loan product where individuals with no credit history or poor credit open a loan account to “pay off” the loan into a certificate of deposit (CD) account.

Monthly Payment 1-Time Admin Fee Loan Length Amount You Get Back
$25 $9 24 $520
$35 $9 24 $724
$48 $9 12 $539
$150 $9 12 $1,633

Once the account holder makes three monthly payments on time – and has more than $100 in their CD account, they can select to open a Self Visa® Credit Card account. They can choose their initial deposit level (at least $100) and order their secured card.

There are no credit checks, meaning there is no impact on a person’s credit score to open the account. Because there are no credit checks and no formal application process, no one can be denied the Self Visa Secured Card.  Opening the account, however, does require a $25 annual fee.

Credit-Builder Benefits

Building credit is difficult without the correct tools. Fortunately, the Self Secured Visa makes the practice much easier.

Build Good Credit with On-Time Payments

The Self Visa reports to the major credit bureaus every month. This regular reporting to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion allow users to quickly raise their credit score through a series of on-time payments.

Payment history accounts for 35% of a FICO Score. Because this one critical factor accounts for over a third of a person’s FICO Score (the scoring model used by 90% of all lenders), paying on-time can help raise a credit score significantly within six months to a year. According to Self, responsibly using the Secured Visa touches upon over 75% of the major factors that impact a person’s FICO score.

Chance at Credit Limit Increases Over Time

Because the card is linked to a Self Credit Builder Account, cardholders can increase their secured card credit limit as they continue to build their FICO Score with on-time payments. As their Credit Builder Account grows, that money can be moved towards the credit line with the Self Visa® Credit Card.

Visa Benefits

The Self Visa also provides holders with the basic benefits and protections of a Visa credit card. These features include: 

Zero Fraud Liability Cardholder Inquiry Services Emergency Card Replacement
Roadside Dispatch and Auto Collision Damage Waiver Lost/Stolen Card Reporting ID Navigator from Norton


Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card Self Visa® Credit Card
Annual fee None $25 annual fee
Credit check No No
Deposit No minimum security deposit required Start with a Credit Builder Account that reports monthly payments to all 3 major credit bureaus
Banking Checking account required Your money is secured and protected in a bank account

What We Like About Self

There is plenty to love about the Self program:

  1. No Hard Inquiry on Your Credit: Unlike traditional secured credit cards, the Self Visa Secured Credit Card doesn’t require a hard inquiry on your credit during the qualification process, which prevents a temporary decrease in your credit score.
  2. No Traditional Deposit: Instead of requiring a cash deposit, the Self card allows you to secure your card by putting money in an interest-bearing certificate of deposit (CD).
  3. Automatic Qualification: After making three on-time payments totaling at least $100 to your Credit Builder Account, you automatically become eligible for the Self Visa Secured Credit Card.
  4. Relatively Low Annual Fee: The card has an annual fee of $25, which is relatively low compared to other secured credit cards.
  5. No Foreign Transaction Fees: The Self Visa Secured Credit Card does not charge foreign transaction fees, making it suitable for domestic use.

Things to Consider

Uninspiring APR

One of the biggest downsides of the Self Secured Visa is the less-than-stellar APR on purchases. That rate is approximately five-percentage points higher than the national average of 18%.

Fortunately, avoiding interest is as easy as paying the balance in full every month. But, if you plan to carry a balance, expect a larger than normal interest charge. This charge won’t be excessive, just more than the average consumer would expect.


Because the Self Visa is a unique way to establish a good credit history, there are many questions that often arise from interested consumers. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Self, as well the answers:

The Application Process and Getting Around with Self

No, this is a secured credit card with no hard credit check.


No. Self can’t guarantee you’ll be approved for the Self Visa, as that is not the process. But once you meet the eligibility requirements, the choice is yours whether to open the Self Visa Credit Card account.

Yes. The whole mission of Self Financial is to help people build credit and save money. That’s why our credit builder card can be a great way to improve poor credit. This secured credit card was designed for people whose credit is bad or poor (as defined by FICO) and is meant to be another tool for you to use to work on improving your credit.

Since the Self Visa is a secured credit card, you set the credit limit. Opening a Self Secured Visa account requires a Self Credit Builder account. Once that account has a minimum of $100, you can open a Self Credit Card account.

No. Self does not permit Self Secured Cardholders to use their card for cash advances.

The Self Card features an annual fee of $25, which is very reasonable when compared with other secured credit cards for building credit.

Self Visa Credit Cardholders  can contact Self through their website, via the company’s live chat, or by calling 1-877-883-0999.

Yes. For those ready to rebuild their credit – or establish a strong credit history for the first time – the Self Credit Builder account and Self Secured visa are excellent tools for learning sound financial habits.

  • Self is available in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia.

Self Visa Card Ratings

How does the Self Visa Card stack up? Here are a selection of expert reviews for the card:

Should You Apply for the Self Visa® Credit Card?

The Self Credit Builder Account and associated Secured Visa® Credit Card are an excellent combination for quickly building a positive credit history. Because the two accounts work together seamlessly, meeting the minimum requirements and paying on-time doubles the impact on your credit score.

While the Self Visa isn’t a spectacular credit card (the APR is below average, and the $25 annual fee isn’t great), it comes with no hard inquiries on your credit report and no fears of rejection. Because of this, it is one of the best options available for credit repair. 

All Credit Builder Accounts made by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, Sunrise Banks, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Subject to ID Verification. Individual borrowers must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security Number are required. All loans are subject to ID verification and consumer report review and approval. Results are not guaranteed. Improvement in your credit score is dependent on your specific situation and financial behavior. Failure to make monthly minimum payments by the payment due date each month may result in delinquent payment reporting to credit bureaus which may negatively impact your credit score. This product will not remove negative credit history from your credit report. All loans subject to approval. All Certificates of Deposit (CD) are deposited in Lead Banks, Member FDIC, Sunrise Banks, N.A., Member FDIC or Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A., Member FDIC.
The Self Visa® Credit Card is issued by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

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