• Home
  • Blog
  • Credit Strong Review: Read This Before You Sign Up

Credit Strong Review: Read This Before You Sign Up

Reviewed by Ty Crandall

March 12, 2023


Credit Strong Credit Suite

Credit Strong is a Division of Austin Capital Bank. It offers credit-building programs for both personal and business credit. Does it work? Yes, but not on its own. It can be a legitimate part of a credit-building system. Is it worth it? The short answer is, it depends. It can if you handle it properly.

This blog contains links that might result in Credit Suite receiving a commission if you use them. This has no impact on the price you are charged for the product or service. CreditStrong is a division of Austin Capital Bank SSB, an independent community bank and member of the FDIC and Equal Housing Lender Member.

Credit Strong Review: Building Credit on Your Personal Accounts

Credit Strong by Austin Capital Bank offers three credit builder loans that aim to boost clients’ credit scores and unlock the benefits of doing so, such as better interest rates on auto loans and increased chances of qualifying for a business credit card. 

If you want to improve your personal score by building credit, you can choose from the following:


Credit Strong’s MAGNUM installment loan increases an account holder’s credit score by 86 points, on average. It is designed to build credit significantly but with a low monthly payment, starting at just $30 per month. It’s the best credit builder loan for people with lots of cash but no credit.

Account holders with on-time payments have seen significant results for their credit profile in 12 months. For example, the average account holder with a starting score of 550 sees a 77-point increase with MAGNUM 5000 and an 86-point increase with MAGNUM 10000.


The REVOLV program is the best option for people looking to build credit in the least amount of time possible. REVOLV account holders build up to $3,000 of revolving credit and see a 62-point increase, on average, with on-time payments.

The loan boasts a rapid improvement in your credit utilization and score with only a $99 annual payment, with no monthly payments required.


INSTAL is an entry-level account for new credit builders, offering an option to build credit and savings simultaneously. With this loan, you can accumulate up to $1,100 of revolving credit starting at only $28 per month.

On the other hand, CS MAX is a program for people looking for a credit mix, specifically those who want to build larger credit, focusing on credit over saving. It comes with a $2,500 to $10,000 of revolving credit limit and payments starting at $49 per month, a great option if you want to make big-ticket purchases using installment credit.

Both of these credit builder loans lead to a 45-point average increase in credit score for account holders.

Credit Strong® is a Business Credit Builder Loan. Basically you loan yourself money and they report it. 

  • Build up to $25,000 of commercial credit
  • Reports to Equifax, Paynet, and SBFE
  • Build up to 25 months of payment history
  • Great for a quick reporting tradeline

How Credit Strong Personal Credit Products Help Business Owners

Your business credit score and personal credit score are two separate things. However, a good personal credit score will translate into direct benefits for your business. 

For instance, a credit score of 640 to 700 and beyond is considered “good credit”, and is enough to qualify for most small business loans. Plus, it can help you gain access to credit mix options, such as low-doc and no-doc business loans or a business credit card, that provide a quick source of cash for your business. In contrast, a negative credit history will limit your options for financing.

Using Credit Strong’s credit builder loans can help you improve your personal credit history while keeping the monthly payment at a minimum. As your personal credit profile improves, you can qualify for more financial products that would benefit your business.

Another benefit of a strong credit history is lower interest on business insurance. Insurance companies may check your personal credit scores to determine your interest rates and premiums. Moreover, if your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, negative impacts on your business credit could affect your personal credit score as well. A strong credit score would reduce the chances of major financial changes on your personal and business accounts.

Credit Strong Business Credit Builder

The business credit builder program at Credit Strong is a kind of credit mix account that combines a cash-secured commercial installment loan and a commercial savings bank account. When you open the account, you choose the program you want. There are two different ones when it comes to the business credit builder.

The Credit Strong pricing for business accounts is $199 per month for 5 years and $115 per month for 10 years, which are max-value options compared to other options like Self Lender. Both programs report on your business credit report as payment on a $10,000 installment loan amount. However, you do not receive any loan proceeds.

Rather, the funds from the loan are deposited into the savings account as collateral for the loan.  You can not access the funds in the savings account for the life of the loan. During this time, the loan and payment activity for the loan is reported to credit monitoring or commercial credit bureaus.  In turn, you are building credit for your business.

Who Does Credit Strong Report To?

Right now, the business credit builder accounts only report to Equifax, PayNet and SBFE. They claim plans to expand reporting for commercial credit to Experian and D&B credit bureaus soon.  

It’s also important to note that they do not do a hard pull, inquiry, or credit check on your personal or business credit history. So, just applying for an account will not negatively impact your personal or commercial credit report with any major credit bureau.

Who Qualifies for a Credit Strong Business Credit Builder Account?

To qualify, a company must:

  • Have a registered EIN
  • Be at least 3 months old
  • Be an LLC, Partnership, or Corporation
  • Have a physical U.S. address as your place of business

Individuals must:

  • Have at least 25% ownership of the business and a larger share of ownership than anyone else
  • Have another owner that owns 25% or more of the business individually
  • Be a permanent U.S. resident and at least 18 years of age
  • Have a physical U.S. address inside the U.S.
  • Have a valid Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
  • Possess a valid identification document like a driver’s license, state ID, passport or Permanent Resident Card- AKA a “Green Card”

Also, these accounts are not available in Florida currently, and some industries and activities may be prohibited.

Credit Strong® is a Business Credit Builder Loan. Basically you loan yourself money and they report it. 

  • Build up to $25,000 of commercial credit
  • Reports to Equifax, Paynet, and SBFE
  • Build up to 25 months of payment history
  • Great for a quick reporting tradeline

Does Credit Strong Work?

This is a tricky question. In short, the answer is yes. It does help build your business credit score by reporting each monthly payment to business credit reporting agencies. It’s a little more complicated than that, however.

First, it takes way more than just one account reporting to build strong business credit. Also, there are more business credit CRAs than just Equifax and PayNet. If a lender does a credit check on your business credit report from Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or another credit bureau, this account will not even show up. Therefore, a credit check will not affect your business credit score on these reports at all.

That’s not to say the plan doesn’t work.  On the contrary, it can be very helpful for credit profile improvement. It just won’t work on its own. It works better as a part of a complete business credit builder process

How Do You Get Your Money?

Of course, if you are making a monthly payment into an account that you cannot touch, you are probably wondering how you get access to that money.  

After the loan’s balance and outstanding interest are paid, and your account is closed, there is a processing period of 6 business days before the savings account is unlocked. You can keep the funds in the account or submit a request to the customer support team to transfer the funds.

After the savings account is closed, the remaining funds can be sent to the payment method on file via direct deposit.  That is of course, after interest and fees.

Can You Cancel Your Credit Strong Account Early?

What if you can no longer afford the payments? You can close your Credit Strong Business credit builder account at any time. Unlike a secured credit card or traditional loan, there is no prepayment or early termination fee required. To close your Credit Strong account, you will need to pay any outstanding interest and loan balance using your linked payment method.

However, payments more than 30 days late will be reported as “late” to credit bureaus.  Also, using funds from a locked business account to pay off a credit builder loan will result in the loan being reported as “paid out of collateral.”

This is where some customers run into issues. What happens is that the funds you have in your Credit Strong account are used to pay the loan. It looks the same as if you put up another asset for collateral and the bank took it in payment for the loan. So, be careful. Once you start, it’s best to keep going.

Credit Strong and the Better Business Bureau

Credit Strong by Austin Capital Bank has a B rating from the BBB. There are a lot of bad Credit Strong reviews, but they are mostly related to the personal credit builder product. Furthermore, they are typically from customers who do not understand exactly how the product–and sometimes, the credit bureau–works.

Most people thought they could cancel and get the full amount of payments back at any time. However, what they actually get is the full amount minus interest and fees. While it’s important to take note of these Credit Strong reviews, you must also understand all of the details before entering into any agreement.

Is Credit Strong Legitimate?

Yes, they are a legitimate division of an FDIC bank. Based on our Credit Strong review, you can see that they offer a product that can help build your credit history in the name of your business. However, that is all it is.  The main benefit is that you build business credit karma. There are no funds for use on your credit account. That is what they promise, and that is what you get.

This credit-building product can and will help you if you use it properly and understand what you are getting. However, for it to do any good, it must be combined with other accounts that help build business credit as well. How do you get more accounts? The Credit Suite Business Credit Builder can help! It can help you set up properly and find vendor accounts that will help you build business credit and get things that you need for your business. This allows you to use your money, rather than having it locked away.

About the author 

Faith Stewart

Faith has a BBA with a major in Accounting, and a combined 20 years of experience in the fields of finance and account.

Before switching to writing, she spent 10 years working in various areas of small business and personal finance and accounting, including working as a public auditor at BKD, LLP, Financial Director at Central Arkansas Development Council, and Commercial Credit Analyst at Farmer's Bank and Trust.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stay In The Loop

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter that delivers the most actionable, tactical, and timely business financing tips you actually want and need for Free
*Plus get instant access to the 3-part Fundability™ training - a systems that helps your business become more Fundable and makes you look great to credit issuers and lenders