Developing a strong credit score is key to a strong financial foundation. But building credit history can feel like a Catch-22. You need to have credit to build a strong credit history, but you need strong credit to get credit. People who have struggled with credit or have no credit history often struggle to get on the credit ladder. Grow Credit is a fee and interest-free loan product designed to help people build their credit scores.
Although banks and credit bureaus view Grow Credit as a typical credit card, the company isn’t a traditional credit lender. It only allows users to pay for monthly subscriptions with the card, and the card is automatically paid off each month. This allows users to show a low credit utilization and demonstrate a history of strong credit payments.
People with a poor or limited credit history should consider using Grow Credit to increase their credit score. Here’s how it works.
- Apply for a Grow Credit Mastercard and add a digital subscription to the card.
- Grow Credit reports a $204 line of credit to the three major credit bureaus each month for the free and secured plans.
- No interest or fees are charged to the account.
- Users can pay a fee for a higher credit limit and more premium subscriptions.
Grow Credit Details
Min Initial Credit Line
$0/mo to $7.99/mo
What Is Grow Credit?
Grow Credit is a “starter” credit card designed to help people with poor or limited credit history quickly gain a foothold in the credit world. To sign up for the credit card, you must have at least one major subscription (such as Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Mint Mobile, etc.). You are required to pay for that subscription using the Grow Credit card.
Each month, Grow Credit automatically pays off your credit card in full. By doing this, it can report low credit utilization to the credit bureaus.
What Does It Offer?
Grow Credit offers a 0% interest and no-fee Mastercard to all US Residents age 18 and older who have at least one qualifying subscription.
The company reports payments to all three major credit bureaus which can help people build or rebuild their credit.
Easy To Qualify
A legal US Resident age 18 or older can qualify for a Grow Credit Mastercard. The only additional qualifications include having a bank account and a subscription to a digital service. The payment for the digital service must be transferred to the new Grow Credit credit card.
Subscriptions Automatically Paid Via Grow
Grow Credit customers must charge their digital subscription to their Grow Credit credit card. Grow Credit automatically pays off the card by drafting the full amount from your bank account each month. This doesn’t change your cash flow at all, but it allows you to build up your credit - because you already had this existing subscription coming out of your bank account. You're now simply using your Grow card to pay for it.
Difficult To Run Up Credit Card Bills
Grow Credit users don’t have any temptation to run up huge credit card bills, because the Grow Credit credit card is locked down. Users can only use it to pay for one subscription (or the number allowed by the plan), and that subscription is paid off each month. Grow Credit helps people build up their credit without helping them take on debt.
Reports To All Three Credit Bureaus
Grow Credit reports timely payments and credit limits to all three of the major credit bureaus. This ensures that a person’s good credit behaviors are being taken into account by other lenders when a user applies for new credit.
No Interest Or Fees On Loans
Grow Credit doesn’t charge interest or fees on its loans. The company will charge a membership fee for people seeking larger credit limits for premium subscriptions.
Are There Any Fees?
Grow Credit’s core product is free. Users will not pay interest or fees for Grow Credit’s core product. With this product, Grow Credit reports a $204 annual credit limit to the credit bureaus.
However, people who want larger credit limits must pay monthly membership fees.
$204 credit limit reported to credit bureaus. Become eligible for Grow or Accelerate after 6 months of on time payments.
$17 Security Deposit (refundable after 12 months)
Same as Build Free. This is a plan that is an alternative if you don't qualify for Build Free.
$600 annual credit limit and some premium subscriptions.
$1,800 annual credit limit and cell phone service can be added.
How Does Grow Credit Compare?
Grow Credit is an excellent credit-building app. With no fees or interest, it may be one of the best options for building credit for free. Credit building loans, such as those offered by Self Financial are likely to help users build credit faster. However, Grow Credit is the only completely free option that is also likely to help users build their credit history at all three credit bureaus.
$0 to $7.99/mo
15.65% to 15.97%
$204 - $1,800
Where To Spend?
How Do I Open An Account?
To create an account, you will need to apply through the Grow Credit Website. Users will need to provide an email address, phone number, name, address, and social security number. They also have to connect a specific subscription to the account. Applicants also have to connect a bank account to a credit account. Grow Credit deducts the monthly cost of your subscription from your bank account, so your account is paid off each month.
Is It Safe And Secure?
Grow Credit uses encryption and other bank-level security protocols to keep user information safe. The company only deducts that monthly cost of your subscription from your bank account.
How Do I Contact Grow Credit?
Grow Credit is headquartered in Santa Monica, but the company doesn’t have branch locations for customers. Instead, Grow Credit has an online chat option staffed by real people.
If you prefer to contact the company through more traditional methods, you can email the company at email@example.com or call customer service at 1-888-244-5886.
Is It Worth It?
Grow Credit’s free option is an incredible option for people with no credit history or poor credit. It’s a stepping stone option that can help users build credit history at all three credit bureaus. And they can grow credit without paying interest and fees and without the temptation to go deep into credit card debt. While users are unlikely to build credit quickly, regular payments should lead to improved credit over time.
However, Grow Credit’s Grow and Accelerate Membership are not likely worth the cost. These products essentially increase the cost of your monthly subscriptions for the long haul. Rather than paying for these, it’s better to seek out introductory credit cards with small credit limits after a year or so of credit improvements.
If you don’t need help building your credit, there’s no need to open a Grow Credit account. But if you don’t have a good credit score, Grow Credit is likely to be a good product for you.
Grow Credit Features
Secured Credit Card
Monthly Subscription Cost
$0 to $7.99
Linked Subscription Only
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Hours
Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM (EST)
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
Web/Desktop Account Access
57129 (through Community Federal Savings Bank)
Grow Credit Review
Pricing and Fees
Ease of Use
Grow Credit offers you a starter credit card with restrictions and low balances, but it will help you build your credit score as a result.
- Instant access to a $204 line of credit.
- No interest or fees.
- Build credit with a subscription you’re already buying.
- Reports to all three credit bureaus.
- Must pay more for larger lines of credit.
- Could take a long time to build a strong credit score.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared toward anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.