Kikoff Review: An Online Credit-Builder

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Quick Take: Kikoff is a San Francisco-based company offering a revolving line of credit worth $500 to help people build their credit. The online credit builder is like a credit card, minus the fees and interest. The line of credit can be used to purchase items from the company's online store. Kikoff then reports the repayment of these purchases to two credit bureaus. Since no bank account is required to apply for Kikoff, it has become a popular option for people with poor credit scores who do not qualify for most requirements set by banks.
  • Fees
  • Functionality
  • Ease of Application
  • Customer Support
How did we calculate this?


  • Can help build credit
  • No interest
  • No credit check


  • Capped at $500
  • Not available in some states
  • Credit only good in the Kikoff store

What Is Kikoff?

Kikoff is an online credit builder offering a revolving line of credit of up to $500. It helps people improve their credit score by making purchases in Kikoff’s online store that the company then reports to credit bureaus.

In most other cases, it is difficult to get a line of credit if you have a poor credit score. However, Kikoff does not run a credit check on you before giving you a line of credit.

How Does It Work?

When you apply for Kikoff, you get a revolving credit line of up to $500. It’s essentially an ongoing loan that stays open for as long as you want.

To improve your credit score, you can make purchases from the Kikoff store on this line of credit. Then, you pay them off in low monthly payments. According to Kikoff, the payments for every purchase are broken down into five to ten installments, with payments as low as $2.

Kikoff reports to Equifax and Experian. Your revolving line of credit from Kikoff shows as a credit card account on your Experian and Equifax credit reports.

Since timely payments are an integral part of building your credit, Kikoff sends you reminders for monthly payments. Plus, you can see your free VantageScore and monitor how your credit score has improved since you made the account.

Fees and Penalties

Kikoff does not charge any interest if you do not pay your monthly balance. However, if you pay late or miss payments, that will hurt your credit score in the long run.

If you fail to make your payments consistently, the company freezes your line of credit. Here are Kikoff’s administrative fees:

  • Secured installment credit builder: $8.95 to $25
  • Kikoff credit account: $0
  • Secured credit card: $9

How To Apply

Simply go to Kikoff’s website and click the ‘Sign up’ option. After that, you have to give some personal information, such as your phone number, name, address and social security number.

Since the company does not run a credit check, you do not have to give your bank information. Kikoff will need to verify your identity and once you are approved, you can begin monitoring your balance, credit scores, payments and more once you’ve set up an account online.

Competitor Difference

The most notable competitor of Kikoff is the online credit builder, Self. Self charges you an administrative fee for the line of credit they offer.

Moreover, it differs from Kikoff in that your line of credit can vary. Here is how they compare:

Features Kikoff Self
Credit Check No No
Line of Credit Amount $500 Up to $1,800
Cost Free $9 administrative fee
Reporting Equifax and Experian All 3 bureaus : Equifax, Experian and TransUnion

Credit Building Alternative Methods

Here are some other ways to build credit if you do not want to use Kikoff:

  • Secured Credit Card: A secured credit card is backed by a cash deposit upfront and is available for people whose low credit scores might not allow them to qualify for unsecured credit cards. If you make your payments on time, banks will enable you to upgrade to unsecured credit cards in a few months upon assessment.
  • Get Credit for Paying Rent: If you pay rent on your home and do not want to put down an initial deposit for a secured credit card, you can leverage the services of a rent-reporting company to make your rent count towards the credit score.

Final Take

The service offered by Kikoff is beneficial for people who want to improve their credit score without spending money upfront. The only limitation is that you can only buy from Kikoff’s store, but that should not be much of a concern if your main aim is building your credit and not shopping.

If you want to build your credit and do not qualify for a credit card, you can give Kikoff a shot.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Scott Jeffries is a seasoned technology professional based in Florida. He writes on the topics of business, technology, digital marketing and personal finance. After earning his bachelor’s in Management Information Systems with a minor in Business, Scott spent 15 years working in technology. He's helped startups to Fortune 100 companies bring software products to life. When he's not writing or building software, Scott can be found reading or spending time outside with his kids.

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