A personal line of credit can be a convenient way to borrow money when you need cash fast for an expensive purchase. It’s also an alternative to a home equity line of credit (HELOC) if you’re a renter or have insufficient equity.
CreditFresh offers a line of credit that allows you to make on-demand withdrawals. It’s possible to qualify for a borrowing limit between $500 and $5,000 while avoiding hidden fees.
This CreditFresh review covers the strengths and weaknesses of this borrowing option and whether this is the best way to borrow money.
Table of Contents
- What is CreditFresh?
- Who Should Use CreditFresh?
- How CreditFresh Works
- CreditFresh Rates
- CreditFresh Pros and Cons
- CreditFresh Alternatives
- CreditFresh FAQs
- CreditFresh Review: The Bottom Line
What is CreditFresh?
CreditFresh is an online platform offering personal lines of credit with a borrowing limit of up to $5,000. This is a revolving account similar to a credit card that lets you borrow money up to your credit limit.
The service determines your borrowing amount during the application process. If you’re eligible, the minimum credit limit is $500.
While you draw your funds and make monthly payments through CreditFresh, these FDIC-insured lending partners finance your line of credit:
- CBW Bank (Kansas State Chartered Bank, Member FDIC)
- First Electronic Bank (Utah Chartered Bank, Member FDIC)
CreditFresh is available in 25 states:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
Minimum Borrower Requirements
Here are the basic requirements to apply for a CreditFresh line of credit:
- Legal age for your state of residence
- You’re a US citizen or a permanent resident
- Maintain an active bank account
- Earn a consistent income
- Valid contact number and email
The lending service doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score or income to qualify for financing. Instead, the platform reviews your current circumstances to determine your creditworthiness.
Who Should Use CreditFresh?
CreditFresh can be an excellent option for the following borrowers:
- Renters: You don’t qualify for a HELOC but prefer a line of credit.
- Borrowing at least $500: Cash advance apps usually only let you borrow up to $500 at once. However, well-qualified borrowers may qualify for a maximum $5,000 borrowing limit with CreditFresh.
- People rebuilding credit: The credit requirements can be more flexible than a personal loan as your income determines your borrowing amount. Additionally, the repayment period and fees can be lower than other short-term loans.
How CreditFresh Works
The CreditFresh application process is very straightforward. You apply online and, in some cases, receive your funds from CreditFresh on the same day. Here’s how it works:
Free Online Application
To get started, head to the CreditFresh website to apply online. There is no application fee, and your credit score will not be impacted. The application process takes several minutes and requires that you verify your identity and income.
You won’t need to back a CreditFresh loan with collateral such as a title loan or home equity loan. However, a court order may repossess your possessions to cover the balance if you default.
It’s possible to receive funding requests on the same day when you submit your application before 3:30 pm Eastern Time Monday-Friday.
However, the cutoff time varies by bank, and your cash may not arrive in your linked bank account. You can spend your money as you wish but must satisfy the monthly repayment guidelines.
Up to $5,000 Credit Limit
Eligible borrowers qualify for a borrowing limit from $500 to $5,000. Unlike a personal loan, where you receive all the funds upfront, make credit line draws only as you need money. This will help to minimize your lifetime borrowing costs.
Unfortunately, first-time borrowers most likely won’t qualify for the maximum credit limit until they establish a positive payment history through CreditFresh.
In time, CreditFresh states that long-time borrowers can receive credit limit increases and reduced billing cycle charges.
Minimum Payment Amount
Two factors determine your minimum payment amount each billing cycle:
- Mandatory principal contribution: This payment portion reduces your outstanding loan balance. The minimum is 3% (at least $15) for non-monthly incomes (i.e., weekly or biweekly) and 6% (at least $30) for monthly earners.
- Billing Cycle Charge: This is your only borrowing charge. The fee is a fixed amount and can be between $5 and $350 per month. Your cycle charge depends on your average daily loan balance.
You will receive your payment requirement 14 days before the payment due date.
You won’t pay these fees when borrowing money with a CreditFresh line of credit:
- Application fee
- Origination fee
- Early repayment
The platform also doesn’t charge an interest rate like credit cards and personal loans.
Instead, you pay a tiered billing cycle charge that depends on your average daily balance. This flat fee goes lower as you pay down your balance.
The fee can be between $5 and $350. As a general rule of thumb, the monthly fee is approximately 10% to 15% of your average daily balance, resulting in a high annual percentage rate (APR) that can rival payday loans and similar high-interest loans.
There are three different billing cycle charge tables, and you can preview your fees when you apply for credit. Below is a screenshot of your potential repayment charges:
As these fees can be expensive, you may consider applying for a personal loan with bad credit for a similar borrowing amount. It’s also possible to have a lengthier repayment period plus a lower APR than this credit line.
CreditFresh Pros and Cons
- Multiple withdrawals: You can make several smaller withdrawals up to your credit limit as you need to borrow money. This withdrawal strategy can result in fewer fees than a lump-sum personal loan and also keeps your credit utilization ratio lower.
- No hidden fees: The only lender fee you pay is the tiered billing cycle charge. You can easily calculate this monthly charge by comparing your average daily balance to the fee table.
- No collateral required: You won’t need to put up collateral to qualify for financing as CreditFresh verifies your income history.
- Quick approval process: The online application process may let you receive your fund request on the same day. Applying for credit to compare rates doesn’t require a hard inquiry until you accept the credit offer.
- High fees: The monthly cycle charge makes it easy to estimate your borrowing costs. However, this fee is higher than many credit cards and loans.
- Potentially low credit limit: New borrowers may not qualify for the maximum $5,000 credit limit. The reduced limit may not be enough to satisfy your complete borrowing needs.
- Potential robo-calls: Some customer reviews mention receiving multiple robo-calls and email solicitations after applying for credit. These contacts can be a nuisance.
- Not available in every state: This service is only available in half of the 50 states. Aspiring borrowers in an ineligible state will need to look elsewhere for a personal line of credit.
There is plenty of competition in the world of credit builder loans, and while CreditFresh has a few things going for it, it is one of the more expensive options. Let’s look at a few Credit Builder alternatives, so you can decide which is best for you.
Chime Credit Builder
The Chime Credit Builder Visa is a secured credit card without an annual fee. Your spending limit is equal to your refundable security deposit. Chime provides your monthly payment details to all three credit bureaus, while CreditFresh only reports to TransUnion. Learn more about Chime Credit Builder in our full review.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.
The Extra Debit Card is a hybrid payment card that withdraws your purchase amounts daily from your linked bank account to avoid carrying a balance. However, it reports your card activity to the credit bureaus monthly, like a credit card, so you can improve your credit score.
It’s also possible to earn cash back on purchases. Monthly plans start at $20-$25, which can be cheaper than CreditFresh. For more information, check out our Extra Debit Card review.
If you’re hoping to borrow at least $1,000 at once, Monevo can help you easily compare rates and terms from multiple personal loan lenders. You won’t enjoy the flexibility of making multiple withdrawals like CreditFresh, but your interest fees can be significantly lower.
Yes, improving your credit score through CreditFresh with on-time payments is possible. Keeping a low credit utilization by only borrowing up to 30% of your credit limit can also help.
The CreditFresh billing cycle charge is a tiered amount between $5 and $350, depending on your average daily balance. This fee is approximately 10% to 15% of your average balance.
Unfortunately, this fee can be higher than the interest charges that credit cards and personal loans charge. Therefore, you may consider these alternatives first to reduce your borrowing costs.
You can contact CreditFresh by phone or online chat to start loan requests and answer your repayment questions. Email support is also available for non-urgent topics.
CreditFresh Review: The Bottom Line
CreditFresh can be a quick way to borrow money as you need it when you don’t qualify for a credit card, personal loan, or home equity line of credit. However, the fees are expensive, so you should try to pay off this loan as soon as possible. If the fees are a turn-off, here are some other, less expensive ways to rebuild credit.
While your borrowing costs can be high, CreditFresh does help you build credit without having to provide security upfront. Eventually, you can qualify for better rates from other lenders as your score and credit history improves.