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Personal Loans

Republic Bank Credit Builder Loan Review

Updated Apr 26, 2023   |   5 mins read

Republic Bank logo
on Republic Bank’s website
Editorial Rating

Editorial Rating

What we like:

Huge selection of terms, monthly payment options, and loan amounts at little cost to you. 

Rates (APR)9.331%12.008% depending on the loan amount and term.
Repayment terms$500 – $1,500 for 12, 18, or 24 months
Fees$10 processing fee
State availabilityAll states; Branches are only in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, and Ohio. 
See how Republic Bank compares to other credit builder loans.

Republic Bank is a financial institution based in Louisville, Kentucky, committed to helping consumers build their credit and take charge of their financial future. The company offers a range of products, one of which is the Republic Bank Credit Builder Loan. This loan can help customers build their credit score while saving money. 

In our Republic Bank Credit Builder Loan review, we discuss the features, benefits, and application process.

In this review:

How Republic Bank Credit Builder Loan works

A credit builder loan can help borrowers with no credit history or a low credit score build quick credit. 

You take out a small loan, and as you make payments, the lender does the following:

  1. Sets the money aside in a savings account or certificate of deposit (CD) you can access later. 
  2. Reports your monthly payments to the credit bureaus so you can start to build or repair your credit. 

Republic works the same way. You start by contacting a representative at 888-584-3600 or visiting a local branch. They’ll help you pick the right option for your budget. You choose from terms of 12, 18, or 24 months and can borrow between $500 and $1,500.

The loan is designed for those with little to no credit, so it’s unlikely you’ll face a credit check (but double-check with a representative). Republic charges a $10 processing fee for its Credit Builder Loan. 

Republic’s Credit Builder Loan is a personal loan, but it’s different from other personal loan lenders. Credit builder loans can help borrowers build their credit scores, and personal loans help them cover significant expenses. 

Credit builder loans have smaller maximum loan amounts than personal loans—often no more than a few thousand dollars. Plus, with a credit builder loan, you won’t get access to your money until you’ve paid the loan in full. 

How Republic Bank helps build credit 

With the Republic Bank Credit Builder Loan, you’ll build credit in a simple way. The loan can help you raise your credit with responsible use. 

If you’re brand-new to credit, you can choose the most affordable option, which includes a $500 loan with monthly payments of about $23. Republic offers several amounts and monthly payment options that fit most budgets, with no pressure to choose an option that’s too much for your budget. 

Republic reports these monthly payments to the credit bureaus, helping you establish a positive payment history that can increase your score. But if you fail to make your payments, the lender reports it to the credit bureaus, which could harm your score. 

Pros and cons of a Republic Bank Credit Builder Loan

Pros

  • Variety of options:

    With multiple loan amount options, you can take out a loan for $500 to $1,500. 

  • Many term lengths:

    Republic offers three options for your loan length, which give you the option to save for just a year, a year and a half, or two years. 

  • Low fees:

    Only pay a $10 processing fee to secure the loan.

  • Improve your credit:

    Republic’s Credit Builder Loan offers an easy way to build your credit in as little as a year. 

Cons

  • Must contact a representative:

    There’s no online application with this loan, so you must visit a branch or call to start the process. 

  • No access to your money until you pay off the loan:

    Instead of getting the loan as a lump sum upfront, like other personal loans, you must wait until the end of your loan term to get your money.

  • Limited in-person branches:

    If you want to do most of your banking with Republic, it’s best to live near a branch, but it only has branches in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, and Ohio.

  • Missed payments could hurt your score:

    In the fine print of the terms page, Republic points out it will report missed monthly payments to credit bureaus, which could harm your score. 

Republic Bank eligibility requirements and application process

Republic Bank built its Credit Builder Loan with low-credit borrowers in mind, so the eligibility requirements are easy to meet. You just need to be able to make the monthly payments you choose. 

You’ll apply via phone or at a Republic Bank location. A representative can walk you through the application process and help you select the right loan option for your needs. They can advise on what documentation they need from you. 

In an explanatory video on Republic’s YouTube channel, a spokesman for Republic Bank explains you’re not taking out a loan in the same way you would take out another type of loan. You’re paying Republic money, and it’s holding it for you in a CD for a fee. 

You may not need to submit the same level of documentation as other loans that require collateral or a high credit score. 

Alternatives to Republic Bank Credit Builder Loan

The best credit builder loans can be a terrific resource for anyone looking to build credit, but they’re far from the only option. 

Alternatives include:

  • Secured credit cards: Secure your credit card with a deposit. The card’s credit limit is often equal to the deposit you put down, and the company holds your deposit as collateral in case you default on payments. 
  • Secured personal loans: Take out a loan if you put up collateral, such as a car, boat, or other assets. The collateral allows for lower APRs and greater access to credit.
  • Debt consolidation loans: Consolidate and pay off debt, especially credit card debt. These loans allow you to combine multiple debts into one loan, making it easy to manage your monthly payments.
  • Peer-to-peer lending: This online lending platform allows individuals to borrow and lend money to one another without a bank or other financial institution. Some lenders may work with bad credit borrowers. 
  • Credit counseling: While not a financing option, credit counseling provides advice and assistance to borrowers who have difficulty managing finances, especially those with bad credit. Credit counseling can be a valuable addition to a credit builder loan.