Banking app Monese* has launched a new feature that allows users with a UK Monese account to build their credit score without the need for a credit check or credit card application. In this article, we take a look at how the Monese Credit Builder works and other ways to build your credit rating. For more information on Monese and how it works read our independent 'Monese review'.
What is the Monese Credit Builder and how does it work?
Monese has launched a new Credit Builder feature that could help Monese* users to improve their credit score by creating an interest-free loan that is equivalent to 12 months savings. Open to all Monese account holders, regardless of the plan they are on, users can choose to repay a fixed monthly amount between £30 - £100 over a 12 month period which in turn will help to build their credit score. Monese then reports the regular monthly payments to all three credit reference agencies - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion - and once the 12 month period is over, you will have 12 months repayment history recorded on your credit report. Monese charges a subscription fee of £7.95 per month for the service meaning users will pay £95.40 in total for using the service.
It can take up to 90 days for the interest-free loan to appear on your report and it may be 3 to 4 months before you notice any change in your credit score. If you miss a monthly payment you will be given another opportunity to make the payment but the arrears will be reported to the credit reference agencies. If you miss two consecutive payments then your Monese Credit Builder account will be automatically closed and any previous funds paid will be returned to your Monese account. If you find you are unable to keep up with the regular payments, Monese suggests closing the account within the Monese app as soon as possible to prevent damaging your credit score.
With the Monese Credit Builder you are unable to access the funds until the final 12-month payment has been made unless you choose to close or cancel the Monese Credit Builder before the 12 month period. If you choose to cancel the Monese Credit Builder, funds will be returned to your Monese account but you are unlikely to see any change in your credit score which could affect your ability to get credit in the future.
Who is eligible for the Monese Credit Builder?
The Monese Credit Builder was designed to help those who struggle to access credit or have little or no credit history. All Monese UK registered account holders aged between 18 - 75 are eligible for the Monese Credit Builder.
How much does the Monese Credit Builder cost?
The Monese Credit Builder costs users £7.95 a month for 12 months. The monthly subscription fee is payable from your Monese account so each month you will need to ensure you have the monthly subscription fee and the interest-free loan amount available in your account.
Is the Monese Credit Builder safe?
Monese is an e-money account and therefore funds deposited with Monese are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) but it is regulated by the FCA. The Monese Credit Builder funds are included as part of your e-money balance and are therefore protected by 'safeguarding' which means the funds are stored in accounts with authorised banks.
Alternatives to Monese Credit Builder
Improving your credit profile can be an arduous process particularly if you are struggling to get credit. The Monese Credit Builder is a useful way to start building and improving your credit profile, particularly as it is not subject to any credit applications or checks. Monese's Credit Builder does cost users £7.95 a month though totalling £95.40 over the 12 month loan period which is quite expensive. Below, we look at the alternatives to the Monese Credit Builder and if you can build your credit score for free.
LOQBOX*, like Monese, allows you to improve your credit profile by providing a 0% interest-free loan over 12 months. Unlike Monese, this service is provided for free, as long as users choose to have their funds paid into a bank account provided by one of LOQBOX's trusted partners. Alternatively, users can choose to have their money transferred into an existing bank account for a fee of £30. Like Monese, LOQBOX also reports your regular monthly repayments to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion which shows the credit reference agencies that you are able to manage credit and in turn should increase your credit score. You can save between £20 - £200 a month in a LOQBOX* account compared to £30 - £100 in a Monese Credit Builder account. Despite being able to save more per month, it is important not to commit to more than you can afford as this will affect your ability to build credit if you are unable to afford the monthly payments.
The funds in your LOQBOX account are securely held in a ring-fenced Barclays account meaning that your money is safe should anything happen to LOQBOX* and your funds are protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For more information on LOQBOX and how it works, read our 'LOQBOX review'.
Credit builder credit cards
It is also possible to try and increase your credit score with a credit building credit card. Credit building credit cards are designed for those with poor credit history or no credit history and because of this they typically have lower balances, higher interest rates and there are fewer available on the market. With a credit building credit card, you will still need to complete an application and if you have a poor credit history you may be rejected for credit, which could further impact your credit score.
Credit building cards work slightly different to LOQBOX and Monese Credit Builder as they require the user to repay the debt that has been built up on the card (rather than saving and repaying a pre-agreed monthly amount) If you are thinking of applying for a credit building credit card you may wish to complete an eligibility checker first as this will allow you to see your chances of getting accepted for the credit card before applying. For more information on credit building credit cards read our article, 'Compare the best credit cards to build credit and improve bad credit'.
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