SeedFi Review: What You Need To Know

GOBankingRates Score

4.1
Quick Take: SeedFi offers personal loans with relatively affordable interest rates to borrowers with bad credit through its Borrow & Grow plan. The platform also offers credit builder loans with no fees attached. SeedFi makes building credit possible while creating savings at the same time.
  • APR
    4.0
  • Loan Flexibility
    3.0
  • Fees
    4.8
  • Customer Experience
    4.7
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Loan payments reported to three credit bureaus
  • No interest, fees or credit inquiry for Credit Builder Prime plan
  • No early repayment fees
  • No origination fees

Cons

  • Must make at least $10,000 per year in net income
  • Customers generally cannot select payment due date with Borrow & Grow plan

SeedFi Overview

SeedFi is a startup focused on providing credit-building opportunities and credit to Americans with poor credit scores. When you take out a loan with SeedFi, savings are built right into the product. Throughout the loan term, you’ll build savings and credit at the same time. Although the platform is not available in every state, the growing company is well positioned to help many average Americans build credit.

Whether you need cash immediately or just want to build credit, SeedFi has options for you. Let’s explore the opportunities in this SeedFi review.

Key Features

Here are details on some of SeedFi’s top features.

APR

As of Aug. 4, the APRs offered on the Borrow & Grow plan range from 12.96% to 29.99%.

The exact APR you obtain varies based on your unique credit history. But if you are a bad-credit borrower who needs quick access to cash, these are relatively affordable rates. That’s especially true when compared with regular rates for payday loans for bad-credit borrowers, which can get into the triple digits.

In terms of APRs for the Credit Builder Prime account, you won’t find any interest rates attached to this credit-building product.

Loan Flexibility

SeedFi’s Credit Builder Prime account offers a high level of flexibility. Instead of locking yourself into a traditional credit builder loan with payments due every month, SeedFi offers the chance to save when you can and get credit for it.

According to SeedFi, you’ll only need to use the line of credit built into your Credit Builder Prime plan once in the first three months and at least once every six months after that. So if you can’t save every month, that’s OK. SeedFi’s goal is to help you build credit, not lock you into an unsustainable payment plan.

The same type of flexibility doesn’t apply to the Borrow & Grow plan. If you earn a regular paycheck, you won’t even have the option to select your payment due date. But SeedFi makes sure that your payment due date lines up with your paycheck. If you are self-employed, you will have the chance to work with SeedFi on selecting a due date that works for your cash flow.

Fees

When it comes to financial products, hidden fees seem to be an unavoidable evil. Although you’ll find fees associated with most loans, SeedFi keeps the fees to an absolute minimum. Without any prepayment or origination fees in sight, you can feel comfortable working with SeedFi.

If you use the Borrow & Grow plan, the only fee you’ll find is late fees. But there’s a catch. When you pay a late fee, SeedFi puts those dollars into your SeedFi Savings Account. So at the end of the loan term, you’ll get all of your late fees back.

If you use the Credit Builder Prime plan, there are no fees to worry about at all. Instead, you can build credit confidently without paying a dime in fees.

Customer Experience

The focus on a positive customer experience is one thing that makes SeedFi a great opportunity. When the company was founded, its stated goal was to “give the 100 million Americans living paycheck to paycheck a way to grow their money.” And that driving mission shines through in the accessibility of the products offered.

Everyday Americans are using SeedFi to give their credit score a boost. SeedFi has a score of 4.7 out of 5, based on reviews from over 3,000 users, and a rating of “excellent” on Trustpilot. Based on the glowing Trustpilot reviews, you can expect a positive experience with this company. Since the average Credit Builder Prime user is seeing their credit score increase after making six months of on-time payments, it’s not surprising that people love this free product.

How SeedFi Stands Out

SeedFi stands out by staying true to its mission of helping those with bad credit access funding and build credit. As a bad-credit borrower, you’ll find the attractive rates and minimal fees very appealing.

If you don’t need a loan but want to build credit, the free options available through SeedFi are helpful. You’ll have the chance to build credit and savings in a flexible way. Taking advantage of the free opportunity to build credit now can help you access better financing opportunities in the future.

Comparable Options

SeedFi isn’t the only company that provides credit-building opportunities. If you don’t think that SeedFi is the right fit for your finances, then consider these competitors.

SeedFi vs. Self

Self offers credit builder loans designed to help you improve your credit score. Like SeedFi, Self boasts of very high customer ratings. There’s no doubt that on-time payments to Self’s credit builder loan can help you build credit.

But you’ll pay a bit more when working with Self. Self’s credit builder loan plans start at $25 per month. That’s significantly higher than working with SeedFi, which can be free.

SeedFi vs. Credit Strong

Credit Strong is another company that offers credit builder loans. Like Self, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to tap into the credit-building power. Plans start at $15 per month.

But what sets Credit Strong apart is the ability to build business credit through the company. If you are looking for an option to build credit as a business owner, then Credit Strong is a worthwhile opportunity.

How To Apply for a SeedFi Loan

SeedFi’s website notes that you must meet the following requirements to get a loan through the platform:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Live in one of the 36 states where SeedFi operates
  • Have a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number
  • Make at least $10,000 per year, after taxes
  • Have a U.S. bank account
  • Have a phone that accepts texts

If you meet those requirements, you can move forward with an application confidently. Filling out an application on the SeedFi site should take less than 10 minutes. If you are approved, you’ll start making payments based on your paycheck schedule.

Who SeedFi Is Best For

SeedFi provides a great opportunity to build credit for free. So those looking to build credit and savings will appreciate what SeedFi has to offer.

But if you need immediate cash with an emergency loan, SeedFi can also help. You’ll get the funds you need upfront. Plus, SeedFi can help you save money for your next emergency through an earmarked savings account.

One limitation of SeedFi is the maximum amount of $4,000 in loan funds that new borrowers can access immediately. If you need access to a bigger loan, then SeedFi isn’t a good fit for you.

Final Take

SeedFi is making good on its promise to help Americans build credit. The outpouring of positive reviews from real customers makes SeedFi an attractive option for anyone looking to build credit and savings at the same time. And it doesn’t hurt that you can use SeedFi for free.

SeedFi FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about SeedFi.
  • What is SeedFi/CRB on my credit report?
    • SeedFi reports your payment information to all three of the major credit bureaus. The entry will be reported under either SeedFi or SeedFi/CRB. The "CRB" stands for Cross River Bank, which is the bank that SeedFi partners with to provide savings accounts and originate credit products.
  • What is a SeedFi loan?
    • The SeedFi Borrow & Grow plan is a personal loan with relatively affordable interest rates for bad-credit borrowers. You'll borrow what you need. Plus, SeedFi will tuck a portion of your principal into a savings account. When you pay off the loan, you'll get access to those savings.
  • Does SeedFi do a hard pull?
    • SeedFi conducts a hard credit pull when you apply for the Borrow & Grow plan. The hard credit inquiry is visible to creditors and may impact your credit score. If you pursue the Credit Builder Prime plan, you won't encounter any credit pull at all.
  • How do I get my money from SeedFi?
    • If you are paying back a Borrow & Grow loan, you'll receive the savings portion of your loan when you pay off the loan. At that point, your SeedFi Savings Account is unlocked. If you sign up for the Credit Builder Prime plan, you'll gain access to your funds each time you save $500. 

Information is accurate as of Aug. 4, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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About the Author

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer with a desire to help readers improve their own financial balance sheets. After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology, she went on to business school. With a master’s degree in Management from the Hough School of Business at the University of Florida, she loves diving into the details of personal finance. With years of experience as a personal finance writer, she helps readers grasp the concept and take control by breaking down complex topics filled with jargon down to their basic components. After all, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way in the world of personal finance.

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