If you are looking to build your credit, there are several options available. In my research, I have identified smart ways to achieve this by applying for credit builder cards, such as the Varo card. Through this credit builder card, you can improve your rating without paying any fees. So how can you apply for this card, and what are the features?
This Varo credit builder review will answer these questions and explore the benefits of applying for one of these cards.
The Varo credit builder will help you start building your credit with no minimum upfront deposit, annual fees, or APR.
But before you choose to apply for this service, you need to examine whether it’s a perfect fit for you. Each credit builder differs according to an individual’s needs. Therefore, you need to fully understand all the features, the fees, the pros, and the cons before settling for this credit builder.
About Varo Credit Builder
Varo Credit Builder is an innovative financial product provided by Varo Money to help customers improve their credit scores. Launched in 2021 under the name Varo Believe program, it’s still in the introduction phase. But how does it work?
With Varo, you can add money to your Vault account, which sets your spending limit. Varo will withdraw cash from your account and transfer it to your Vault for every purchase you make.
You can then use these funds in the Vault to pay off your credit bill on time each month. Once you make full payments, Varo uses this information to report to the credit bureau.
I love the idea of having a Vault account because it helps you pay your statement balance in full and on time. In addition, you can also use your Varo Believe Card to make purchases up to your credit limit.
If you keep up with the timely monthly payments, your credit score improves, and you can now access more financial products. Varo also reports any negative payment experiences to the credit bureaus. Because of this, it’s advisable to meet your credit obligations in full every month.
What Are the Benefits of a Varo Credit Builder?
A Varo credit builder comes with the following benefits.
- It helps you grow your credit score.
- The company assists you by reporting payments to the three major credit bureaus, which is good for your credit history.
- You can monitor your credit score via the app.
- Avoid runaway debt.
Pros and Cons
Like every other credit builder, Varo also has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are the main ones.
- No APR
- No monthly account fees
- The application doesn’t affect credit scores.
- No security deposit
- The bank reports to 3 credit bureaus
- You can make purchases up to your credit limit.
- A late fee of $15
- Late and negative payments are reported to credit bureaus.
- You must have $1000 or more in your account to apply.
- You need to have negative balances for the last 90 days.
- The credit builder card is yet to be fully operational.
How to Sign Up For Varo
Applying for this credit builder is pretty direct. For you to get the card, you first need to open a Varo account. The advantage is that Varo has a mobile app, available both on the App Store and Google Play, that you can use for the application process.
To be eligible for a credit builder card from Varo, you’ll need the following:
- A Varo bank account.
- Be above 18 years
- Have a Social Security Number
- You should be a U.S permanent citizen or resident.
- Have a minimum of two direct deposits that amount to $1000 or more within the past 90 days.
- An active Varo bank account with no negative balances for 90 days.
To open this Varo bank account, you need to fill in your information on the website, such as your email address, a U.S phone number, and create a password. The bank will also require additional personal information and verification of identity. You can also add a savings account and finish the application.
For verification purposes, Varo will check your credit score. However, this will not in any way affect your score. After verification, you won’t need to pay any annual fees, minimum deposit, or APR, and you can start your journey of building a reputable credit history.
Because Varo requires you to have a minimum of two deposits worth $1000 or more within the past 90 days, you’ll need to wait for this period to lapse before becoming eligible for the credit builder card. In addition, you’ll also need to keep your account active for the same period, use the card and ensure you don’t have zero balances.
After this period, you can even check via the app whether you are now eligible for a credit builder card.
If you sign up for the Varo credit builder, it comes with some key features. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Vault Account
Each time you purchase a product or pay for a service with the Varo card, it reserves the amount you have spent from the Varo bank account to a secure Vault account. This money is set aside to pay for your credit card balance every month and ensure that the payments are timely.
The Vault account is essential because it helps you build a history of on-time credit card payments and avoid credit card debt. You can easily monitor all these payments via the Varo mobile app.
- Credit Score Monitoring
Using the Varo app, you can monitor your credit score. The app will display your progress, whether you are improving or declining. You can then use this data to improve your rating by making timely and in-full payments.
How Do I Build My Credit Score With Varo?
If you are unsure how Varo helps you build your credit score, you need to consider these essential elements. You’ll need to make timely payments and in-full to improve your rating.
Once you drop the ball on these critical steps, you’ll keep having a poor credit score. Here’s how the Varo Believe Program could help you build your credit score.
- Timely Payments
With the Varo Believe card, you move money to the Vault account, used to make payments. You can also transfer some money to the account, which determines your spending limit.
As long as you have funds in the account, your credit card will be paid off on time. This way, your rating improves, and you can take other loans and mortgages in the future.
Keep in mind that Varo charges $15 for dollar payments. Such late payments reflect negatively on your credit score. In addition, Varo also reports these negative payment experiences to the credit bureaus.
- Pay the Amount in Full
In addition to making timely payments, you should also pay the amount in full. This way, your score stays positive and continues improving.
When your debt is paid in full, your credit history records show that you are good at making credit payments. This is good for you in the future, especially because it implies that you are more likely to pay full payments.
The key to boosting this score is ensuring that the Vault account always has money. You can either move funds or use the card to make purchases. It will come in handy when Varo needs to report your rating to the three major credit bureaus.
Varo Credit Builder Alternatives
Here are some of the companies offering credit builders like the Varo one.
- Chime Bank
Chime Bank’s credit builder doesn’t have an annual fee or interest. There’s no minimum security deposit required, and you won’t be subjected to a credit check once you apply.
With this alternative, the bank will pay the balance on time and automatically and also update the credit bureaus. This way, you can build your credit score. Using the Chime app, you can move cash to spend to your credit builder.
Just like with the Varo credit builder card, you have to open a Chime Spending Account to qualify for the Chime one. From here, you then move the cash to your credit builder card.
This is the cash you spend, and it also has no interest, fees, or limits. You can use the Chime card to shop at any retailer or store that accepts Visa cards.
MoneyLion also has financial products to help you build your credit history. They have credit builder loans that provide customers with funds upfront. You can apply for a loan of up to $1,000 without any credit check and pay it off within 12 months.
Just like Varo, MoneyLion doesn’t charge a high subscription fee. This makes it suitable for you if you’d rather avoid monthly subscription services. The credit builder loan comes with features such as Lion’s Share Loyalty program, Instacash, the Financial Heartbeat, and credit monitoring.
Building a good credit score is essential, especially if you need to apply for other loans and mortgages. However, if you don’t have this, you can find accessing these services and products challenging.
The Varo credit builder is an excellent alternative if you need don’t have any credit history. They just launched the credit builder card under the Varo Believe program to enable customers to build their scores. Once you make payments, they also report the same to the credit bureaus to help improve your history and rating.
Varo credit builder is an excellent choice for Millenials and Gen Z’ers who need to start building a good credit score. This may be a perfect starting point as long as you make on-time payments and find ways to maintain a positive history. Varo could kickstart this process for you.