Contributor, Benzinga
July 12, 2023
Overall Rating:
securely through Kikoff's website

To start building a credit history, you’ll need access to credit from lenders. However, most lenders require your credit history to grant you access to credit. Whether you’re just getting started (with no credit history) or want to improve your credit score, this catch-22 scenario makes it challenging. Fortunately, Kikoff can help you tackle this hurdle.

Founded in 2019 and based in San Francisco, Kikoff provides individuals with an easily attainable credit line, allowing them to build a strong credit history and improve their credit scores. With Kikoff, you can access up to $750 revolving line of credit and use it to purchase items on Kikoff’s online store. As you repay the loan in small increments, Kikoff reports your activities to the credit reporting bureau (Equifax and Experian), helping you to build your credit score. 

The loan comes with $5 per month for the Credit Builder Service and 12-month repayment terms. There’s no interest on your balances and no administrative, annual or late fees. You don’t have to pay anything besides what you buy from the store and the $5 monthly cost for the service.. By keeping your balance low and paying on time, you can use the service to build or improve your credit scores. Read on for a comprehensive review of this credit-building app, the pros and cons and how it compares to other lenders.

  • Requires no credit pull for signup
  • Very cheap (only $5 minimum payment*)
  • No fees — administrative, enrolment, annual or late repayment
  • Requires no minimum qualification
  • Fast account opening with instant loan approval
  • Cancel at your convenience
  • 0% interest (or APR)
  • App availability (iOS and Android)
  • Line of credit is only usable for purchases on Kikoff’s online store
  • Ineffective customer support (only email)

Kikoff Ratings at a Glance

Product Offering
Customer Service
Minimum Investment and Pricing
Mobile App
User Experience

Kikoff Product Offering

Kikoff offers two credit-building options to help potential customers safely establish or improve their credit history and credit score. Here's an overview of each option and how they work.

Credit Account

Kikoff's Credit Account is a revolving line of credit similar to a credit card, although with more limitations. With this account, you can access a $750 revolving line of credit with the Credit Builder Service for $5 per month or $2,500 for $20 per month for the premium, which offers more benefits, including reporting to TransUnion and much lower credit utilization, further bumping up your credit score. No other fees or interest is involved. The fundamental limitation is that you can't access the money via check or other methods — it's only usable for purchasing items from Kikoff's proprietary online store. It's like a payment option at checkout. In the Kikoff store, you can find a variety of e-books on personal finance, wellness and other subjects, with prices starting at $10. 

However, you don’t have to purchase any items to boost your credit score; you only need to consistently and timely fulfill the $5 or $20* monthly payment. Kikoff reports your revolving line of credit to Experian and Equifax, just like a credit card account, and your credit scores are determined based on the information in your credit reports. To get started with this offer, you sign up with your name, email, phone, address and Social Security number. The process takes about 5 minutes, and Kikoff provides instant approval decisions. 

Once approved, Kikoff uses the credit to purchase 12 months of its credit building service for $60. You then repay Kikoff in full via installment payment of $5 per month for 12 months ($5 x 12 = $60). On repayment, you can either close the account or buy another credit-building product to repay over time. Kikoff's streamlined and impactful credit-building approach addresses the three key factors that may negatively affect your credit score — payment history, credit utilization and account age.

Regarding payment history, Kikoff reports all your purchases (on its online store) and monthly payments to Equifax and Experian on time. The available items are priced such that you only ever use between 3% to 10% of your credit, which is the recommended optimal credit utilization for credit building. The credit account doesn't expire; the older, the better since Kikoff also reports your account age to the credit bureau. Kikoff grants you access to a free VantageScore for progress tracking, and there's an autopay feature to ensure you don't miss out on payment.

Credit Builder Loan

Kikoff offers credit builder loans as an optional add-on product to the credit account. It is essentially a one-year credit-building plan that helps you build $10 per month in savings. By year-end, you'll have established a 12-month payment history and will receive your accumulated savings of $120 back. Accumulating such savings can indirectly benefit your credit score by providing financial stability and a cushion for unexpected expenses, which can help maintain timely payments and reduce reliance on credit utilization. You can add this product once you make your first payment with the Kikoff Credit Account.

Credit+ Cash Card

Kikoff's Credit+ Cash card is a secure credit card that helps you build a payment history while using it for your everyday transactions, offering the convenience of a debit card and the advantages of a credit card. Regular card usage and timely payments can help you establish a positive payment history. Benzinga rates Kikoff 4/5 on product offerings.

Kikoff Customer Service

Kikoff offers customer support only via email; there's no telephone contact, live chat or online form. You can connect with the team via Facebook and Instagram, although these social media platforms don't provide fast and efficient access to support compared to phones. The FAQ page presents an alternative avenue if you need a constructive overview of Kikoff's offerings and how it works. 

Besides the personal finance and budgeting resources available for purchase on the online store, Kikoff's blog offers valuable and insightful content on credit building and how it works overall. Still, that doesn't account for the lack of effective customer support channels for handling specific customer needs or resolving complaints. Kikoff has reviews on independent platforms like Trustpilot, where it scored 4.5, 4.9 stars on Apple Play Store and 4.5 stars on Android App Store. 

Kikoff Minimum Investment and Pricing

Kikoff Credit Account stands out among other credit-building services for its transparent and low fee structure. Unlike many alternatives, it does not impose interest on purchases or additional fees for using the account, except for a modest monthly cost of $5 or $20 (for premium) for the Credit Builder Service. The add-on product (or Credit Builder Loan) is optional, allowing you to save $10 monthly for 12 months, resulting in $120 in take-home pay without fees. Furthermore, Kikoff charges no late repayment fee, though it may lock your account until you make up for late payments. Kikoff's affordability makes it an attractive option for individuals seeking to build credit without incurring high costs. Benzinga rates the platform 5 on pricing.

Kikoff Mobile App

Kikoff offers iOS and Android apps which you can find by searching "Kikoff" on the App Store and Play Store. Kikoff's app provides a user-friendly experience with seamless navigation and compatibility across different devices. It serves as the primary platform for receiving updates and ensuring an optimal Kikoff experience. The app provides convenient access to account information, payment history and transaction details, enhancing overall ease of use. Users can easily manage their credit-building activities and stay informed about their progress through the app's intuitive interface. The app has an overwhelmingly impressive rating indicating overall efficiency and ease of usage.

Kikoff User Experience

Kikoff provides a seamless user experience. The application process is fast and usually takes 5 to 10 minutes, with an instant approval decision on completion. Its highly intuitive mobile app ensures convenient access and management of your credit-building activities while on the go. It is also affordable — potentially the most affordable credit-building platform available currently. It caters to and is accessible to anyone looking to improve their credit history or build a credit score from scratch. And it is available in all states across the U.S. except Delaware. Benzinga considers Kikoff a highly recommendable credit-building platform.

Kikoff vs. Competitors

Kikoff's revolving line of credit has several competitors in the credit-building space; however, its closest competitor is Self. Like Kikoff, Self requires no credit pull and reports your account to the three major bureaus, including Experian and Equifax. However, unlike Kikoff, Self requires a monthly payment ranging from $25 to $150 (depending on the loan account type) over a 24-month loan term. Furthermore, a non-refundable administrative fee of $9 applies. Although significantly higher than Kikoff's minimum payments, your contribution (minus interest and fees ) to Self is refunded at the end of the loan term. Kikoff's core advantage is its exceptionally low fee — $5 per month.


Kikoff is a user-friendly and affordable credit-building platform that provides accessible and flexible solutions to help individuals establish or improve their credit history and FICO scores. It requires no credit pull, and besides the $5 (or $20 for premium) monthly fee, there's no downside to using the service. The platform's low cost, fast account setup process with instant approval and intuitive mobile app make it a convenient choice for individuals looking to enhance their credit score. 

However, you can only use the credit to purchase items from Kikoff's online store, meaning you might have to buy things you don't need. Furthermore, Kikoff only reports to Experian and Equifax, unless you purchase the premium account, in which case Kikoff will also report to TransUnion. Remember, though, that shopping at Kikoff's store isn't mandatory to boost your credit score. Ultimately, the Kikoff Credit Account can be a beneficial option for many people on their credit-building journey. Still, it doesn't offer the most optimal approach for credit building or saving money.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is Kikoff credit legit?


Yes, Kikoff Credit is a legitimate credit-building service.



How do you spend money with Kikoff?


You can spend money with Kikoff through its online store, which offers various e-books.



Can I withdraw cash from Kikoff?


No, Kikoff does not provide an option to withdraw cash.

*The advertised price per month is the monthly payment required to be made on your Kikoff Credit Account for the purchase of the Kikoff Credit Building Service only. If at any time your account has multiple purchases on it, the advertised price per month will not apply. Terms and Conditions apply.

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Chika Uchendu

About Chika Uchendu

Chika Uchendu is a personal finance writer passionate about helping people learn more about managing their finances, making informed decisions, and navigating the complex landscape of finance platforms to find the best options for their financial goals and needs. He has over 8 years of experience writing compelling articles for various reputable publishers across diverse topics. When he’s not writing content, he’s wrangling and analyzing data to help businesses make informed decisions.