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How Can Credit Builder Help You Build Credit?

Chime Team • May 2, 2023

Your credit score is an integral part of your financial life, but it can feel confusing. How can Credit Builder actually help you build credit?

Your credit score affects everything from loan approvals and new credit applications to rental applications. It matters! 

If you’re currently using or considering signing up for our secured credit card, the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card,¹ find out how it may help build your credit. Let’s jump into the basics: how it works, what we report on, and what you could expect.

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card

  • Build credit safely
  • No credit check to apply
  • No annual fees
  • No interest~
Get Started

How Credit Builder works

Set your available to spend 

To start, simply move money into your Credit Builder secured account. The money you add will set the available to spend on your card.

Make purchases

When you make a purchase using your Credit Builder card, we subtract that amount from your available to spend on your card. That way, you won’t spend more than you have in your secured account. And there’s always money set aside to make payments on your card!

Pay balances

The total amount you spend with your Credit Builder card is your balance. At the end of the  month, you can then use the money set aside in your secured account to pay your monthly balance.

If you choose to turn on the Safer Credit Building² feature, Chime will automatically use the money set aside to pay off any outstanding balance. This way, you always pay on time. On-time payments are an important part of building credit. (Go to Settings > Credit Builder Card > Safer Credit Building to turn on this feature.)

If you choose to pay manually, you’ll receive a notification to pay your statement every month.

Current balance and available to spend are two different things. Your available to spend is how much you can spend with your Credit Builder card, the current balance is how much you have spent so far.

How is my credit score determined?

Your credit scores are determined by credit bureaus. Every month, credit card companies and lenders will report your activities to credit bureaus, who then update your credit score based on the activities reported. Chime reports to all three major credit bureaus, Experian®, Transunion® and Equifax®, to help you build credit history over time.

How is your credit score calculated?

Although there are few different types of credit scores, FICO® scores are used by 90% of top lenders.³ They are calculated based on the following five factors:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Credit utilization (30%)
  • Credit age (15%)
  • Credit mix (10%)
  • Inquiries for credit (10%)

Now that you know some factors that impact your score, let’s dive into how Credit Builder does reporting differently.

What does Chime report on?

Now that you have the basics, let’s break down what Chime reports on:

Payment status

Your payment status is a reflection of whether or not you paid last month’s balance.

Pro Tip: If you have the Safer Credit Building² feature turned on, then the money that you previously moved into Credit Builder will automatically be used to pay your monthly balance. That way, you’ll always pay on time, a key factor for building credit.

Amount past due

This is the balance not paid off from the prior month.

Reminder: Every time you make a purchase, that amount is set aside and held in your secured account — so you never have to worry about not having enough at the end of month to pay your monthly balance!

Account age

The number of months you’ve been with Credit Builder. In general, the older your account, the better! Your account age proves you’ve been a trustworthy card holder over time.

Current balance

This is the amount you have spent since the last statement plus any amount past due.

Note: It’s normal to have a current balance.

What doesn’t Chime report on?

Because Credit Builder is different than traditional credit cards, there are a few items Chime doesn’t report on:

  1. Credit limit: Since you can set how much you want to spend on Credit Builder, the Credit Builder card does not have a pre-set limit.
  2. Card utilization: Credit Builder doesn’t report credit utilization to the major credit bureaus because it has no pre-set credit limit. Spending up to the amount you moved to Credit Builder will not show a high-utilization card on your credit history.

When does Chime report?

Chime typically reports to credit bureaus at the beginning of every month, but credit bureaus can take a few weeks to process reports – so you might not see the changes until later in the month.

Score change: What to expect

Credit Builder offers features that help you stay on top of key factors that impact your credit score. Consistent use of Credit Builder can help you build positive payment history and increase the length of your credit history over time.

If your credit score dips a bit from opening a new account, don’t get discouraged: by simply making regular on-time payments, your credit score can improve. That’s why it’s helpful to turn on the Safer Credit Building² feature, so you can continue to make regular payments on time and start building credit.

While Credit Builder can help you build credit, stay on top of your financial activities and accounts you use outside of Chime. Don’t give up: learn how long it takes to build credit history from scratch.

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card

  • Build credit safely
  • No credit check to apply
  • No annual fees
  • No interest~
Get Started

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

While Chime doesn’t issue personal checkbooks to write checks, Chime Checkbook gives you the freedom to send checks to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Chime Checkbook details.

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Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

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1 To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

2 On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

3 FICO® Scores are developed by Fair Isaac Corporation. The FICO Score provided by, Inc., also referred to as Experian Consumer Services ("ECS"), in Experian CreditWorks℠, Credit Tracker℠ and/or your free Experian membership (as applicable) is based on FICO Score 8, unless otherwise noted. Many but not all lenders use FICO Score 8.

~ Out-of-network ATM withdrawal and over the counter advance fees may apply. Chime Checking Account and qualifying direct deposit required to apply.

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