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Borrowell Credit Builder vs KOHO Credit Building

Jessica Martel

Apr 28, 2023 7 min read

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KOHO credit building review

If you have a poor credit score or you’re just starting to build your credit, you might consider a credit builder loan. A credit builder loan is specifically designed to help establish and boost your credit so you can access more financial products at better rates. You can think of it like a monthly subscription for building your credit score.

With a traditional loan, you receive a sum of money upfront and repay the lender (with interest) over a predetermined amount of time. With a credit-building loan, the money you borrow is typically set aside in a savings account while you pay off the loan with fixed monthly payments. When you finish making payments, you receive the loan funds minus fees.

This article reviews two Canadian credit building options – Borrowell Credit Builder and Credit Building by KOHO. 

Borrowell Credit Builder

Borrowell Credit Builder appears on your credit report as an installment loan, and is designed specifically to help Canadians diversify their credit mix, and build their credit history and payment history (which is the largest factor that determines your credit score).

You can choose a monthly payment amount between $10-$50, and you’ll get a lump sum of $240-$1,440 back at the end of the term. 

Credit Builder is a 36-month program. During the first 24 months, payments consist of a program fee and savings that you get back. During months 25 to 36, you pay $0 in fees and get back the entire monthly payment as savings. 

How Does Borrowell Credit Builder Work?

Unlike a regular loan, you don’t receive money when you’re approved. Instead, you make monthly fixed payments of $10, $30 or $50 for 36 months. During this time, all of your payments are reported to Equifax Canada, which is the largest consumer credit bureau in Canada. Since payment history has the largest influence on your credit score (around 35%), demonstrating that you can make on-time payments over time can help to boost your score. Late or missed payments can negatively impact your credit rating.

To prevent you from missing a payment, Borrowell’s Credit Builder automates your payments through a pre-authorized debit agreement. All payments, including missed payments, are reported to Equifax Canada once per month. 

Borrowell's Credit Builder Loan

How to Apply for the Borrowell Credit Builder Loan

To apply for Credit Builder, visit Borrowell’s website and sign up for Borrowell. Just enter your email address and create a password. Once you’re signed up, Borrowell will walk you through the steps to apply for Credit Builder. There is no credit check required. 


To qualify for Credit Builder, you must meet the following eligibility requirement:

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident

  • Live in Canada, excluding Quebec, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick 

  • Age of majority in your province

  • At least six months of credit history 

  • At least two tradelines (loan, line of credit, credit card, etc.) on your credit file with Equifax


With consistent payment behavior, Credit Builder can help you to improve your credit score. With a higher credit score you can secure lower interest rates on mortgages, car loans or personal loans. Having a good or excellent credit report can also increase your chances of qualifying for products like premium credit cards and other top-tier financial products. Additionally, Borrowell Credit Builder offers: 

  • No hard credit check when you apply 

  • Cancel any time without financial penalty 

  • Monthly payment plan options ranging from $10 to $50 per month

  • No interest, just a flat program fee

  • Pre-authorized debit payments


Currently, Borrowell Credit Builder is not available in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick or Québec.

Should I Get the Borrowell Credit Builder Loan?

You should get the Credit Builder loan if you want to build your credit history so you can qualify for new financial products with better interest rates, terms and approval rates. You should also consider the Credit Builder if you: 

  • Have little to no credit history

  • Are looking for an easier way to build credit on auto-pilot

  • Are new to Canada and want to start building credit 

  • Are recovering from bankruptcy, a consumer proposal or another type of delinquency


Having a good credit score is important for most financial decisions. It can help you secure a better interest rate and terms on everything from a mortgage to a personal loan. But, establishing and building a credit score takes time. If you have no credit or poor credit and you want to build your score, Borrowell’s Credit Builder is likely a good fit.

KOHO Credit Building

Credit Building by KOHO

KOHO offers three ways to build your credit history:

  1. Credit Building Line of Credit. You take out a line of credit and establish credit by repaying it on time.  

  2. Flexible credit building. Select customers can deposit their own money as a line of credit and repay it on time. 

  3. Build with both. Combine the credit building line of credit with flexible credit building to boost your credit history. 

How Does it Work?

Here’s how KOHO’s Credit Building  and Flexible Credit Building programs work: 

  1. Credit Building Line of Credit.  KOHO will provide you with an unsecured credit line of $225. Unsecured means you don’t have to put up any collateral. You can use money from your KOHO LIne of Credit directly from the KOHO app. Payments are made through a pre-authorized debit from your KOHO Account on each payment due date. Each month your payments are reported to Equifax. The cost of the Credit Building tool is between $7 and $10 per month for a six-month subscription cycle. After six months, you can decide if you want to re-subscribe. You can also cancel the program at any time.   

  2. Flexible Credit Building. At the time of writing, this option is available through invite only. If you are eligible for this program, KOHO will notify you. With the Flexible Credit Building tool, you set aside $30 to $500 of your own money as a secured line of credit in your KOHO account. Then, you withdraw the amount you need and KOHO will re-collect what you owe at the end of the month. You can pay back the money manually before it is due, or you can wait for KOHO to auto-collect on the due date. Each time you make a payment on time, this helps to build your credit score. 

  3. Build with both. If you really want to grow your credit as fast as possible, you can consider using both. However, this is only an option if you're invited into the Flexible Credit Building program.  

How to Apply for KOHO Credit Building 

To apply for KOHO credit builder service, follow these steps. 

  1. Download the KOHO app

  2. Sign up for the Credit Building tool  n the Tools or Credit section of the app

  3. Once you’ve signed up, KOHO will review your credit rating (this is a soft credit check, it won’t affect your credit score). 

  4. The funds will be deposited into your account, minus fees. 

  5. Each month, payments will come out of your account and your payments are reported to the credit bureau.

  6. Keep enough money in your account each month to cover the monthly fees.


To qualify for KOHO Credit Building, your account must be fully verified. You also need: 

  • Enough money in your account to cover subscription fees

  • To be the age of majority in your province 


The main benefit of KOHO Credit Builder service is the opportunity to establish and build your credit. Additionally, KOHO offers the following benefits: 

  • Repay your total outstanding balance at any time without a prepayment charge or penalty 

  • No interest payments on KOHO Credit Building Line

  • No hard credit inquiry to apply  

  • No non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees


As with all credit building programs, KOHO Credit Building is not guaranteed to improve your credit score. Other potential drawbacks include:

  • Just as KOHO reports on-time payments, they also report late payments, which can have a negative impact on your credit rating.

  • Flexible Credit Building tool is only available to those who have been invited.

Should I Get  KOHO Credit Building Service?

You should consider the KOHO Credit Building tools if you’re looking for a way to establish or boost your credit. If you’re worried about committing to a longer-term credit building program, like Borrowell, KOHO’s credit builder tool six-month program might be the right fit. However, you have the freedom to cancel out of both programs at any time with no penalty fees.  


KOHO Credit Building offers a few credit-building options with its Line of Credit and Flexible Credit Building tool. If you’ve been invited into the Flexible Credit Building program, you can also choose to supercharge your credit building journey using both tools at the same time. 

Credit Builder

The Bottom Line

Having a strong credit score can help you secure a better interest rate and terms, which can result in major savings over time. Borrowell’s Credit Builder and KOHO’s Credit Building tools offer Canadians the opportunity to build and improve their credit scores by reporting payment history to the Equifax credit bureau. If you’re looking for a smaller line of credit and a shorter term length, KOHO might be the right choice for you. If you want to report a larger amount on your credit report, which can potentially have a bigger effect on your credit score, then Borrowell is likely the right fit.

Jessica Martel
Jessica Martel

Jessica Martel is a freelance writer and professional researcher. She specializes in personal finance and financial literacy. Her work has appeared on websites such as Investopedia, The Balance, Money Under 30, Scotiabank, Seeking Alpha, and more. Jessica has a Master of Science degree in Cognitive Research Psychology.

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