Alexus is 23 years old and from Denver. She likes being active–playing hockey, swimming, riding dirtbikes. She spent the last few years working in customer service, and recently started her own business in the same field.
Alexus wanted better credit to apply for loans and grow her business. During the year since joining Kikoff, Alexus’ credit score jumped from the low 600s up to 720. She dramatically increased her credit limit, and cut her annual percentage rate (APR) in half.
Walk us through what your credit was like before Kikoff’s credit builder account.
From the beginning I was just trying to build credit. I realized a good score could get me what I can’t immediately afford out of pocket. My dad was terrible with credit. He blew through money like nobody’s business. My mom was better, but I still couldn’t rely on either of my parents as a cosigner. I had to do everything myself.
In 2018, I had no credit history and only one loan place would take me on. They gave me a $300 loan to repay over a year. The APR was ridiculous – like 19%. I hated it. That year I also got my first credit card with a $500 limit, and my utilization wasn’t ideal.
Why did you decide to join Kikoff’s credit builder account?
I never wanted to deal with anything like that high-interest loan again, so I started researching credit-builders. For so many of them you have to keep paying extra fees – the activation fee, the membership fee. Sometimes the membership fee is like $100.
I liked that Kikoff is affordable and there’s no credit check to apply. They help you understand exactly how credit works. You build it in a low-risk way, especially if you’re just starting out. There’s no, if you don’t pay this back it’s game over. I feel like Kikoff actually takes care of you.
I also saw that it was woman-run, and I was like, I’m down for that. I’m always trying to support women in business.
What’s your favorite thing about Kikoff’s credit builder account?
I love that it’s simple. I entered my information, I pay $2 every month, and Kikoff reports that to the credit bureaus. With AutoPay, I don’t even need to worry about actually making the monthly payments – they do it for me.
And Kikoff walks you through exactly what’s going on with your credit. They give you a clear timeline. This is when you should expect the payment to show up on your credit report, this is how far along you are in your plan. I get emails about score updates from the major credit bureaus, tips about credit, bits of encouragement. When I reach out to them, it feels great talking to actual humans instead of a computer.
The Credit Account also lets you expand your loan and keep building your payment history for as long as you want. I’m trying to keep it indefinitely – it’s just so easy.
In what ways has your life changed with Kikoff’s credit builder account?
I joined the $12 loan a year ago and the Credit Account as soon as it came out in February. My credit score jumped up to 720, by almost 100 points.
Better credit makes everything so much smoother. Now, I feel like creditors know they can trust me. I got my total credit limit up to $20,000. I have three new credit cards, one with an $8000 ceiling. I got a loan with 10% APR – that interest rate is like half of what I was paying initially.
What are your goals for the future?
Since 5th grade I’ve been helping other students with school. I love volunteering – faith-based, reading lessons, tutoring. I ultimately want to get my business to the point where it’s running itself, so I can work less and volunteer more.
I’m trying to keep building my personal credit so I can build my business. I’m applying for more loans, and I’ve also been looking at buying a car. When I took a mechanics class in high school I realized that I love working on cars. One of my dreams is to buy enough of them for a fleet so people can rent them out.
Figuring out how to start building credit was scary – I had so many friends in debt. But I did my research, I tried Kikoff, and we figured it out. I told my friends to join when my credit started growing. Kikoff made life so much easier.