Kikoff credit line review: Good for building credit

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In a Nutshell

With Kikoff, borrowers with limited or no credit can qualify for a $500 credit line that comes with no interest and a flat monthly fee. And since Kikoff reports payments to two of the major credit bureaus, making on-time payments can help build up your credit. But before you apply for a Kikoff line of credit, make sure you’re interested in buying items available in the Kikoff store since that’s the only place you can use a Kikoff line of credit.
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Pros Cons

May help you build credit

Credit line capped at $500

No credit check required

Can only use funds to shop in Kikoff store

No interest

Not available in all states


What you need to know about a Kikoff line of credit

Kikoff is an online lender that offers revolving lines of credit of up to $500 to help you improve your credit. You can use the line of credit to make purchases only through Kikoff’s online store. If you get a line of credit through Kikoff, you’ll make monthly payments that can help you build credit over time. Kikoff is a licensed lender that says it is committed to offering “equality in financial opportunity” by helping people build credit. The lender reports to two major credit bureaus, Equifax and Experian.

There are no credit checks

Getting a line of credit can be difficult if you don’t have great credit. But since Kikoff doesn’t perform a credit check when reviewing your application, you don’t have to worry about your credit score. So if you’ve struggled to get approved for a credit line in the past because of poor credit or because you lack a credit history, Kikoff may be a good option.

Can help you build credit

If you’re looking for a credit-builder option, Kikoff might be a good place to start. It reports all payments to Equifax and Experian, which can help you build your credit over time — as long as you keep your payment history in good standing. To help you stay on track, Kikoff will even send you payment reminders when your monthly payments are due. And if you keep your credit utilization low, this can help you boost your score, too.

You can use the line of credit only at the Kikoff store

Thinking of using your Kikoff money to help cover an expense? Think again. You can only use your Kikoff line of credit to make purchases through the Kikoff store. The Kikoff website doesn’t offer details about what’s available in its store before you sign up. According to the Kikoff blog, items start at just $10 and include an e-book about personal finance.

A closer look at Kikoff lines of credit

  • Credit line capped at $500 — Kikoff caps its credit lines at just $500. Though the limit may be low, there are no restrictions on the amount of monthly payments you can make, so you get some flexibility in how you want to use the credit line.
  • No interest charges — Lenders typically charge people interest on the amount drawn from a line a credit — and people with bad credit or no credit history tend to face high interest rates on loans and other financial products. But with a Kikoff credit line, you’ll pay only $2 each month, and there are no other fees or interest charges.
  • Not available in all states — Right now, Kikoff is available to people in 45 states. It doesn’t operate in Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, Rhode Island or South Dakota.
  • It could take some time to show up on your credit — After you sign up with Kikoff, it may take up to six weeks for your new account to show up on your credit report.
  • No prepayment penalty — If you decide to pay off your Kikoff line of credit early, you don’t have to worry about fees — there’s no penalty to pay off your balance in full.

Who is a Kikoff loan good for?

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 45 million people may be denied credit because they’re “credit invisible” — meaning they don’t have credit records that can be scored. This means that if you don’t have a credit score or have poor credit, you can have a hard time qualifying for loans or credit cards.

Since Kikoff doesn’t check credit scores, it may be a good option for people who are looking to build their credit. But since you can only use the credit line to purchase items from the Kikoff shop, you should explore other options if you’re looking to get access to cash. Other options may include a line of credit that is secured with a deposit, a personal loan for bad credit, an app that loans cash or a payday alternative loan.

How to apply with Kikoff

To apply, you’ll have to sign up for a Kikoff account. While there’s no credit check, you’ll have to provide some personal information, including your email and your Social Security number. After you submit your information, Kikoff says you’ll be approved quickly and can start using your Kikoff credit line “immediately.”

Not sure if Kikoff is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Oportun: You may be able get a loan with Oportun even if you don’t have great credit.
  • Earnin: If you need money before your next payday, the Earnin app can help you out with an advance of up to $500 without paying interest or fees.

About the author: Kat Tretina is a personal finance writer with a master’s degree in communication studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Obsessed with her many side hustles, she focuses on helping people pay down their … Read more.